Trees or shrubs, with or without milky sap. Leaves alternate or rarely opposite, simple, entire or rarely dentate, coriaceous. Stipules caducous or wanting. Inflorescence consisting usually of axillary clusters or flowers solitary. Flowers hermaphrodite, actinomorphic, bracteolate. Sepals 4—12, biseriate or spirally arranged, imbricate, free or more or less connate at the base. Corolla with a minute or well-developed tube; lobes usually as many as the sepals, with or without dorsal or lateral lobes or appendages, usually imbricate. Stamens epipetalous, typically in 2 or 3 whorls, but usually only the inner whorl fertile; filaments free; anthers 2-celled, with longitudinal dehiscence. Staminodes present or wanting, variously shaped. Disk often present. Ovary superior, 4—5 (or 1—14)-locular; style 1, often lobed at the apex. Ovules solitary in each loculus on an axile or almost basal or apical placenta, anatropous, with inferior micropyle. Fruit woody and indehiscent or a berry. Seeds various. Endosperm present or wanting. About 800 species in 40(—125) genera in the tropics and partly also in the subtropics.