Trees shrubs or herbs. Leaves opposite, simple, usually entire; stipules present, often interpetiolar, sometimes similar to the leaves so that apparent whorls of “leaves” are present. Domatia sometimes present on leaves. Flowers united into simple or compound heads or in cymes, regular, usually bisexual. Calyx 3–5-lobed or sometimes obsolete. Corolla tubular, often inserted around an epigynous disc, 4–5-lobed. Stamens as many as the corolla lobes and alternating with them, epipetalous. Ovary inferior, usually 2-locular; style simple or with as many branches as loculi. Fruit a capsule, berry or drupaceous. C. 650 gen., mostly trop.