Woody evergreen climbers; tendrils simple or 2-branched. Leaves alternate, simple or palmately compound, lateral leaflets smaller than terminal one, margins toothed or entire; stipules caducous. Inflorescences umbellate panicles, leaf-opposed or placed next to leaves, usually long-pedunculate. Flowers usually bisexual; calyx shortly 4-toothed; petals 4, free, hooded at apex; stamens 4, anthers free; disc cupular, 4-lobed; ovary 2-celled, adnate to disc, ovules 2 per cell, stigma sessile, small. Berry usually 1-seeded, rarely 2–4-seeded.
About 350 species, distribution as for family; 14 species in Australia.