Shrubs or woody climbers. Leaves opposite, simple, without stipules. Flowers bisexual, regular or irregular. Calyx tubular, 4–5-lobed. Corolla tubular, 4–5-lobed; lobes spreading, nearly equal or the corolla 2-lipped. Stamens epipetalous, as many as the corolla lobes and alternating with them. Ovary inferior, 2–5-locular; placentas axile or basal. Fruit a berry or drupaceous. 11 gen., mainly N. hemisphere.