Trees, shrubs, or vines, rarely subshrubs or herbs, with latex or rarely watery juice. Leaves simple, opposite, rarely whorled or alternate, pinnately veined; stipules absent or rarely present. Inflorescences cymose, terminal or axillary, with bracteoles. Flowers bisexual, 5- [or 4]-merous, actinomorphic. Calyx 5- or rarely 4-partite, quincuncial, basal glands usually present. Corolla 5- or rarely 4-lobed, salverform, funnelform, urceolate, or rarely rotate, lobes overlapping to right or left, rarely valvate. Stamens 5 or rarely 4; filaments short; anthers mostly sagittate, free or connivent into a cone adherent to pistil head, dehiscing longitudinally, base rounded, cordate, sagittate, or prolonged into an empty spur; pollen granular; disc ringlike or cup-shaped, 2-5-lobed, or absent. Ovaries superior, rarely half-inferior, connate or distinct, 1- or 2-locular; ovules (1 or) 2-numerous per locule. Style 1; pistil head capitate, conical, or lampshade-shaped, base stigmatic, apex 2-cleft and not stigmatic. Fruit a berry, drupe, capsule, or follicle. Seeds with or without coma; endosperm thick and often horny, scanty, sometimes absent; embryo straight or nearly so, cotyledons often large, radicle terete.
Corolla tubular, variously shaped; lobes contorted-imbricate, very rarely valvate
Stamens 5 or rarely 4, inserted in the tube; filaments free or rarely united; anthers often sagittate, free or connivent around the stigma, rarely adherent to the latter, 2-celled, opening lengthwise, connective often produced at the apex; pollen granular; disk usually present, annular, cupular or of separate glands
Ovary superior, 1-celled with 2 parietal placentas or 2-celled with the placentas adnate to the septa, or carpels 2 and free or connate only at the base with ventral placentas in each carpel
Style 1, split at the base or entire, thickened and stigmatose below the apex; ovules 2 or more in each carpel
Fruit entire and indehiscent or of 2 separate carpels, baccate, drupaceous or follicular
Seeds mostly with endosperm and large straight embryo, often winged or appendaged with long silky hairs
Leaves opposite or verticillate, rarely alternate, simple, entire; stipules usually absent