A family of trees in which the leaves are simple and crowded at the twig tips, and rarely have stipules. The flowers are hermaphrodite and sometimes cauliflorous. There are 4–6 sepals and petals and many stamens, fused at the base and sometimes strongly one-sided in development. The ovary is inferior, and fused to the receptacle. The flowers are frequently nocturnal and bat-pollinated. The fruit is a berry or woody capsule, opening by a lid. There are 20 genera, with about 280 species, occurring in the tropics and concentrated strongly in S. American rain forests.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.