A tropical and warm-temperate family of trees and shrubs with bark that yields resin used medically and in incense. The leaves are simple, alternate, usually entire, and without stipules. Flowers are regular, usually bisexual, and usually borne in panicles or racemes, rarely solitary. The tubular calyx has 4 or 5 persistent lobes. The corolla is tubular at the base with 4–7 valvate lobes; the number of stamens is either equal to or double the number of corolla valves. The stamens are usually adnate to the corolla tube or united as a tube. The ovary is superior or inferior, of 3–5 fused carpels with 3–5 locules. The fruit is usually a capsule, sometimes a drupe, with a persistent calyx, containing one or a few seeds with copious endosperm. The fruit is eaten by animals, which disperse the seeds. There are 12 genera with about 170 species, found in eastern Asia, western Malesia, south-eastern North America, Central and South America, and around the Mediterranean.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.