Trees or shrubs. Leaves alternate, simple or pinnately compound; stipules small or absent. Inflorescences cymose or paniculate, terminal or axillary, or solitary and axillary, rarely cauliflorous. Flowers bisexual or sometimes unisexual, hypogynous, actinomorphic. Sepals 5(-7), distinct, imbricate or quincuncial, often persistent, sometimes accrescent. Petals 5 or rarely deciduous or lacking, imbricate, free. [Gynophore present in Recchia.] Stamens 10, obdiplostemonous, inner cycle sometimes rudimentary; anthers oblong, basifixed, opening by a longitudinal slit. Gynoecium superior, of 1-5 distinct carpels with adaxial-basal style; ovary with (1 or)2(-5) ovules; ovule basal-marginal or marginal; style gynobasic; stigma clavate to capitate. Fruit 1-5 drupelike or nutlike monocarps produced per flower (drupetum or achenetum). Endosperm present; embryo curved or folded, with incumbent cotyledons.