Glabrous trees or rarely shrubs, with aromatic bark. Leaves alternate, simple, entire, pinnately veined, with pellucid dots. Stipules wanting. Inflorescence consisting of axillary or terminal cymes or racemes. Flowers hermaphrodite, actinomorphic. Sepals 3—5, imbricate. Petals 4—12, free or basically united, imbricate. Stamens 20 or less; filaments united into a tube; anthers 2-celled, with longitudinal dehiscence, extrorse. Ovary superior, 1-celled, 2—5 carpellate; style short and thick; stigma 2—6-lobed. Ovules horizontal or ascending, 2 to numerous on 2—5 parietal placentas. Fruit a berry. Seeds 2 to many, shining, hard and brittle. Embryo straight or slightly curved. Endosperm copious, oily and fleshy. Ten species in 5 genera in tropical and subtropical America, Madagascar and tropical Africa.