Trees or shrubs. Leaves alternate, simple. Stipules wanting. Inflorescence consisting of lateral or axillary racemes, spikes or clusters. Flowers hermaphrodite or rarely unisexual and then polygamous, actinomorphic. Calyx 5-lobed, imbricate, persistent, the tube partly or completely adnate to the ovary. Corolla often divided nearly to the base, 5—10-lobed, imbricate. Stamens numerous, in 1—3 series; filaments usually slightly united in clusters at the base of each corolla segment; anthers 2-celled, globose, with longitudinal dehiscence, innate. Ovary inferior to half-inferior, 2—5-locular; style 1, slender; stigma more or less capitate. Ovules commonly 2 in each locule, pendulous, anatropous, on an axile placenta. Fruit a drupe or berry, usually 1-seeded. Embryo straight. Endosperm fleshy. About 280 species in only one genus in tropical regions, especially in south-east and east Asia and the Malayan region.