Herbs, shrubs, trees, or herbaceous or woody vines, usually with spines or prickles, glabrous or pubescent with simple or stellate hairs. Leaves alternate, simple or compound, entire or lobate; stipules absent. Flowers actinomorphic, 5-merous, bisexual or rarely unisexual, produced in racemes or solitary. Calyx deeply lobate; corolla usually rotate, with the limb pentagonal; stamens 5, the filaments shorter than the anthers, the anthers concrescent, dehiscent by terminal pores; ovary superior, of two connate carpels, the placentation axile, with numerous ovules, the style filiform, the stigmas bifid. Fruit a berry with numerous seeds inside. A cosmopolitan genus, of approximately 1,400 species.
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