Shrubs or trees. Leaves alternate, sometimes opposite or whorled, mostly coriaceous or xeromorphic, entire to pinnatisect, without stipules. Flowers in spikes, racemes or umbels, sometimes paired or rarely solitary, regular or irregular, bisexual. Perianth segments 4, in a single whorl, petaloid, valvate in bud, cohering when young and separating later (often slit on one side) or connate towards the base. Stamens 4, opposite the perianth segments and adnate to them; anthers often sessile. Hypogynous glands 3–4, separate or united or absent. Ovary superior, often stipitate, (ie. gynophore present (Fig. 27), 1-locular; placenta marginal or basal; style simple, often curved or hooked and protruding through the perianth before the stigma emerges; pollen from the anthers of the same flower often deposited upon a variously shaped pollen presenter below or around the stigma before the flower opens. Fruit an achene, drupe or follicle. 80 gen., temp. to trop., particularly Africa and Aust.