trees, shrubs or lianas. Leaves simple, usually opposite, rarely alternate or
verticillate, entire, usually petiolate, rarely sessile, stipules present,
sometimes absent, deciduous. Inflorescence often terminal, sometimes axillary,
racemose, corymbose or umbellate. Bracts and bracteoles present. Flowers
bisexual, rarely polygamous. Calyx 5-partite, persistent. Petals 5, unequal,
mostly with a claw, fimbriate or dentate. Stamens 10, filaments connate at the
base. Ovary superior, 3-locular, styles 3, free, stigmas inconspicuous. Fruit a
schizocarp, splitting into samaras, more or less winged or drupaceous mericarp.
Seeds without endosperm.