Deciduous shrubs. Leaves opposite, simple, entire or toothed; stipules small or absent. Inflorescences of whorled leafy-bracted spikes, erect or drooping; bracts persistent in fruit. Sepals 5, unequal, connate basally, persistent in fruit; corolla funnel-shaped, c. actinomorphic, 5-lobed, swollen at base; stamens 5, filaments inserted on corolla-tube; ovary 5–8-celled, style long, stigma capitate. Fruit a many-seeded berry.
6 species from the Himalayas and China; 1 species naturalised in Australia.