A family of shrubs, with a few trees and climbers in which the bark is fibrous. The wood often has included phloem. The leaves are simple and sometimes opposite. The flowers are hermaphrodite and regular. The calyx is tubular, commonly coloured, and lobed; petals are often absent or episepalous; the stamens are episepalous; the ovary is superior. The seeds have a caruncle or aril. There are 50 genera, with about 720 species, occurring in the tropics, especially in Africa, and in temperate regions.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.