Trees, shrubs, herbs or rarely climbers or scramblers. Leaves alternate, simple or compound; stipules, small, inconspicuous or absent. Flowers bisexual or rarely polygamous, in paniculate umbels, heads or racemes. Calyx very small or truncate. Petals 4–5, valvate. Stamens 4–5, alternating with the petals. Ovary inferior, surmounted by an entire epigynous disc, usually 2-locular, with 1 ovule per loculus. Fruit drupaceous, with 2 hard flattened 1-seeded pyrenes, or a schizocarp. 80 gen., trop. to a few temp., particularly S.E. Asia and S. America.