Trees or shrubs, containing a resinous sap, sometimes epiphytic. Leaves opposite, generally decussate, rarely alternate or whorled. Stipules wanting. Flowers dioecious, polygamous or hermaphrodite, actinomorphous or nearly so, terminal or axillary, sometimes solitary or clustered, sometimes in fewflowered cymes. Sepals 2—10. Petals 2—6, rarely indefinite, contorted or overlapping. Male flowers: stamens numerous, rarely definite; filaments free or connate in various degree, sometimes united into a fleshy mass; anthers varying in form, number and dehiscence, the connective often produced beyond the anthers and sometimes glandular; ovary rudimentary or wanting. Female and hermaphrodite flowers: staminodes and stamens surrounding the ovary; number of stamens and staminodes smaller than in the corresponding male flower; ovary superior, one- to many-celled; ovules one to many in each cell on axile or rarely parietal placentas; styles usually connate or wanting; stigmas large, as many as the cells of the ovary; fruit usually fleshy-leathery, a capsule with septicidal or loculicidal dehiscence or a berry; seeds often with a fleshy aril or strophiole; endosperm wanting. About 400 species in 35 genera in the tropics.