Trees, shrubs or herbs. Leaves opposite or alternate, simple, entire or toothed; stipules absent. Flowers regular, bisexual, solitary or in axillary or terminal umbels, racemes or clusters.. Calyx 4–5-lobed, usually imbricate in the bud. Corolla tubular or rotate, 4–5-lobed; lobes valvate or imbricate. Stamens 4–5, opposite the corolla lobes. Ovary superior, 1-locular, with free-central or basal placentas. Fruit a capsule, drupaceous or viviparous. 41 gen., mainly trop. to warm temp.