trees, rarely shrubs, sometimes lianas or herbs, lactiferous or resiniferous.
Leaves simple, opposite, decussate, rarely whorled, entire, with fine parallel
lateral veins, distinct on drying. Inflorescence axillary to terminal,
few-flowered cymes, very rarely racemose or panicled, often solitary flower or
fascicled. Flowers white, yellow or red, dioecious, hermaphrodite or
polygamous. Sepals 4-6. Petals 4-8, sometimes more, rarely absent. Male
flowers: stamens numerous. Ovary 1 to many celled, ovules 1-4, erect or axile,
style 1, stigma as many as the cells of the ovary, peltate. Fruits usually
baccate or drupaceous, rarely a capsule with septicidally dehiscent valves.
Seeds large, with or without aril.