Evergreen trees or shrubs. Leaves simple, coriaceous, alternate, rarely opposite, often crowded and pseudo-verticillate at the top of the branches. Stipules wanting. Inflorescence consisting of axillary or terminal racemes or flowers solitary by reduction. Flowers hermaphrodite in our species, actinomorphic. Sepals 4—5. Corolla 4—5-parted or -lobed. Stamens 4—5, epipetalous, inserted on the corolla. Staminodia 4—5, alternating with the stamens. Ovary superior, unilocular; style 1, short or slender; stigma discoid or capitate. Ovules numerous, on a central placenta. Fruit a drupe or berry, fewto many-seeded. Endosperm present. About 50 species in 4 genera in tropical and subtropical America.