Perianth spirally arranged, consisting of 4–6 free, imbricate, concave and unequal sepals (the outer ones the smallest, the inner ones gradually larger), and 4–8 petals, similar to the sepals but successively larger towards the centre of the flower, and each bearing a fleshy glabrous or hairy scale-like basal appendage
Flowers small, white or pinkish, polygamous, i.e. the lower ones in the same inflorescence generally ♂, the upper 1–3 hermaphrodite or ♀, in axillary spike-like racemes
Leaves persistent, alternate, rather leathery, entire to crenate or spinulose-serrate, petiolate, penninerved, stipulate
Seeds few, subglobose-angular; aril pergamaceous.
Fruit berry-like when first ripe, but tardily longitudinally dehiscent when dry into 3–5 sections; pericarp hard
Ovary on a concave receptacle, 1-locular, with 3–5 multi-ovulate placentas; style very short; stigmas 3–4(–5), radiate
Stamens numerous, biseriate in the hermaphrodite, multiseriate in the ♂ flowers, the inner row arising from the receptacle, the outer row attached at the base of the “scales”; filaments short; anthers subsagittate
Leaves petiolate; lamina often rather leathery, usually oblong or elliptic-oblong, margins spinulose-serrate.
Stamens numerous, the inner row arising from the receptacle, the outer attached at the base to the petaloid scales.
Flowers in axillary spike-like or lax racemes, bisexual or male.
Ovary on a convex receptacle, 1-locular with 4–5 parietal multiovulate placentas; style very short; stigmas 4–5.
Sepals 4–5, free, imbricate, concave, unequal.
Fruit berry-like when first ripe but tardily longitudinally dehiscent when dry into 4–5 sections.
Petals similar to the sepals but rather larger, with petaloid scales larger than the petals, opposite each petal, and with a fleshy gland at their base.