Evergreen shrubs or trees. Leaves alternate and petiolate. Flowers in terminal bracteate racemes or panicles; bracteoles absent; sepals 5, shortly fused at base; corolla urceolate, with 5 short recurved to revolute lobes, deciduous; stamens 10, filaments woolly, anthers with narrow, awn-like appendages. Fruit a globose berry.
14 species from North America, western Europe and the Mediterranean region; 1 naturalised in Australia.