Shrubs and trees. Leaves often of two types: juvenile, which are horizontal, opposite, cordate and sessile; and adult, which are usually vertical, alternate, petiolate and elongate. Inflorescence a cyme, often consisting of few to many umbels. Perianth modified to form an operculum which falls off when the stamens expand. Stamens numerous. Ovary inferior, 3-6-locular. Fruit a hard and woody capsule.