Trees, shrubs or herbs. Leaves opposite or rarely alternate, petiolate; blade pinnately compound or sometimes simple. Flowers solitary or in cymose inflorescences, hermaphrodite, actinomorphic, 5—4-merous. Sepals free or sometimes united at the base, imbricate or rarely valvate. Petals free, imbricate or rarely valvate, sometimes wanting. Stamens twice or rarely thrice as many as the petals, obdiplostemonous, often appendaged at the base; anthers versatile, with longitudinal dehiscence. Intrastaminal disk mostly present. Ovary superior, sessile or shortly stipitate, 2—12- but mostly 4—5-locular. Ovules one to several per locule, pendulous, on an axile placenta; style one, terminal, furrowed or angular; stigma usually simple. Fruit various, often a loculicidal or septicidal capsule, rarely a drupe or berry. Endosperm present or wanting. About 250 species in 26 genera in dry and warm regions.