Trees or shrubs, with bisexual flowers or dioecious, semievergreen or deciduous. Stipules small, distinct, caducous. Leaves alternate, simple, petiolate. Inflorescences axillary, on current year’s growth, abbreviated cymes in a pedunculate umbel or thyrses in a raceme or panicle. Flowers (4 or)5(-7)-merous, actinomorphic, 1-4 mm in diam. Sepals and petals ± undifferentiated, distinct. Stamens inserted at or in margin of a disk; anthers introrsed, longitudinally dehiscent. Ovary superior. Fruit a drupaceous tardily dehiscent capsule with 1 seed or a berry with 2-4 seeds. Seeds with or without an aril; endosperm present but thin.