A family of trees and shrubs (but Cassytha is a twining parasite) that have evergreen, alternate or rarely opposite, simple leaves without stipules. The tissues contain aromatic oils. The flowers are regular, small, unisexual or hermaphrodite, and usually trimerous. The ovary is usually superior and surrounded by a cup-like receptacle. The fruit is a berry or drupe-like, and often enclosed by a receptacle. Many species are valuable as ornamentals, or for timber, oil, or spices. There are 45 genera, with 2000–2500 species, occurring in the tropics and subtropics, and centred in Amazonia and South-east Asia.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.