Evergreen trees or shrubs. Leaves opposite or rarely alternate. Stipules interpetiolar, soon deciduous. Flowers solitary or in axillary, forked or cymose inflorescences, hermaphrodite, actinomorphic. Receptacle campanulate. Sepals persistent, free. Petals as many as the sepals, 4—8 (or rarely 3—16), free, inserted on the rim of the receptacle and alternating with the calyx lobes. Stamens twice as many as the petals, inserted on or at the base of the disc; filaments free, short; anthers introrse, usually 2-celled or sometimes divided into numerous pollensacs. Disc epi- or perigynous, often lobed. Ovary inferior or partly inferior, mostly 2-locular; style simple, filiform to cylindric; stigmas small, capitate or lobed. Ovules 2 to many, anatropous, pendulous from the axis above the middle. Fruit leathery, crowned by the calyx at least when young, indehiscent or dehiscing septicidally, 1—5-locular with 1 seed per loculus. Seeds hanging, rather large, sometimes arillate. Embryo straight or rarely curved. Endosperm wanting. About 70 species in 17 genera in the tropics of both hemispheres.