Dioecious or monoecious shrubs or small trees
Female flowers: pedicels, sepals and petals ± as in the ♂; disc-glands often flatter than in the ♂; ovary 3-locular, with 2 ovules per locule; styles free or connate at the base, bifid or bipartite
Male flowers: pedicels long and slender or flowers sessile; sepals (4–)5(–6), united at the base, imbricate; petals (4–)5(–6), shorter than, equalling or exceeding the sepals; disc of 5 free or united glands which may be petaloid or not, and opposite the sepals, with or without a second whorl of smaller glands opposite the petals; stamens 5, opposite the disc-glands, filaments free, anthers introrse, 2-thecous, longitudinally dehiscent; pistillode minute, 3(–5)-lobed
Fruit dehiscent at the base, the bivalved cocci often persisting on the columella; seeds often 1 per locule due to abortion, subglobose, ecarunculate; albumen fleshy; cotyledons broad, flat.
Stipules triangular to lanceolate, somewhat persistent
Leaves alternate, shortly petiolate, simple, entire, penninerved