Trees or shrubs. Leaves opposite or rarely alternate, simple and mostly entire, glandular punctate. Stipules wanting or rarely present and very small. Flowers mostly actinomorphic, hermaphrodite or polygamous by abortion. Hypanthium more or less adnate to the ovary. Sepals 3 or more, imbricate or valvate or irregularly split. Petals 4—5, rarely 6—0, inserted on the margin of the hypanthium, imbricate or connivent in a mass. Stamens numerous or rarely few, inserted on the rim of the hypanthium, 1- to more-seriate; filaments free or connate at the base into a short tube or in bundles opposite the petals, twice folded or straight in the bud; anthers small, 2-celled, with longitudinal dehiscence or rarely opening by apical pores, connective often with an apical gland. Ovary syncarpous, inferior, 1- to many-locular; style short or elongate, often curved; stigma capitate to pointed. Ovules few to many or rarely solitary on an axile or rarely parietal placenta. Fruit various, often crowned by the persistent sepals or apical part of the hypanthium, indehiscent or with locular dehiscence. Seeds without or with only very few endosperm. Embryo various. A very large family of about 3000 species in perhaps 60 genera in the tropics and subtropics.