Trees or shrubs. Leaves usually alternate, simple and coriaceous. Stipules wanting. Flowers solitary or in few-flowered clusters in the axils of the leaves, rarely in terminal or axillary racemes, regular, usually hermaphrodite. Bracteoles often 2 under the calyx and sepaloid. Sepals usually 5, free or slightly connate, imbricate. Petals 4-many, usually 5, free or connate into a ring or a short tube, imbricate. Stamens numerous, often united at the base and adhering to the corolla; anthers 2-celled with longitudinal dehiscence. Ovary superior or rarely semi-inferior, 2—10-celled; styles as many as the cells, free with pointed stigmas or united with a 3—5-lobed stigma. Ovules 1-many in each cell, on axillary placentas, pendulous or erect. Fruit a berry or a loculicidal capsule. Seeds 1-many, globose or horseshoe-shaped. Embryo curved or rarely straight. Endosperm scanty or wanting. About 380 species in 30 genera in tropical and subtropical regions.