Shrubs. Wood and inner bark yellow. Shoots of two sorts: long shoots armed with, usually 3-partite, spines (which are morphologically leaves) and short shoots which bear clusters of simple leaves. Flowers yellow, 3-merous, borne in panicles, fascicles, racemes or solitary. Sepals c. 9, petaloid; petals 6, each with 2 glands at the base. Stamens 6, springing inwards when touched at the base. Ovary 1-locular; ovules few. Fruit a berry.