Dioecious, less often monoecious, trees, shrubs or herbs. Indumentum simple. Leaves simple, alternate, entire. Flowers in axillary fascicles; female flowers sometimes solitary. Male flowers: pedicels jointed; sepals 5, imbricate; petals 5, free, clawed; disk with glands in 1-3 series on the sepals, petals and receptacle; stamens 5; pistillode present. Female flowers: sepals and petals as in male but persistent and hardening in fruit; ovary 3-locular with 1 ovule per loculus; styles 3. Fruit splitting into 3 2-valved cocci. Seeds shiny, black.