Shrubs, rarely small trees, dioecious, evergreen or deciduous. Leaves simple, alternate, petiolate, stipulate; stipules 2, early deciduous, divided or not; blade margins glandular serrate or crenate; veins pinnate. Inflorescences umbels, sessile, borne on midvein of leaf blade, rarely on petiole of leaves on upper part of young branches. Flowers 3- or 4(or 5)-merous, green or purple-green, unisexual; calyx teeth 3 or 4(or 5); petals 3 or 4(or 5); floral disk flat, fleshy. Staminate flowers 3–20 per umbel; stamens 3 or 4(or 5), alternate petals; anther locules 2. Carpellate flowers 1–4 per umbel; style short; stigma lobes 3 or 4(or 5), reflexed; ovary inferior, locules 3 or 4(or 5); ovules 1 per locule, pendulous, apotropous, with dorsal raphe. Fruit berries, drupelike. Seeds (stones) 1–4(or 5), with grooves and ridges when dry, crowned by persistent calyx and style; endosperm smooth; embryo straight.