A family of trees, shrubs, and climbers, in which the leaves are simple, opposite, and often with stipules. The flowers are hermaphrodite and regular, with 4 or 5 fused sepals and petals with imbricate lobes, 4 or 5 epipetalous stamens, and a superior ovary with 2 locules. The fruit is a capsule. Many species contain poisonous alkaloids, some of which are medicinal. There are 29 genera, with about 600 species, occurring in temperate, subtropical, and tropical regions.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.