Small trees or erect shrubs. Leaves spirally arranged, simple, petioled, entire, palmatinerved, densely red-dotted. Stipules small, very caducous. Flowers in terminal corymbs or panicles, actinomorphic, ♀, rather large. Pedicel with 5-6 apical glands. Sepals 4-5, free, imbricate in bud, falling off as soon as the flower expands. Petals 4-7, free, imbricate in bud. Stamens numerous, inserted on an annular hypogynous disk; filaments thin, free; anthers horseshoe-shaped, passing over the top of the filament and with both ends closely applied to i , 2-celled; cells opening in the middle (on the top of the filament) by short slits which unite into a spuriously apical pore. Ovary superior, usually bristly, 1-celled, with 2 opposite parietal slightly intruding placentas. Style 1, sinuous, rather thick; stigma 2-dentate. Ovules very numerous. Capsule compressed contrary to the placentas, usually softly prickly, rarely smooth, loculicidally bivalved; endocarp membranous, separating from the valves. Seeds numerous, obovoid, angular; testa fleshy, very densely studded with small, round, red, sessile glands; albumen well-developed, not oil-containing; embryo rather large. Distr. Monotypic, native and cultivated in tropical America; cultivated in many other tropical countries.