Trees; branchlets pubescent. Leaves opposite or alternate, usually glabrous; margins usually entire; often 3-nerved, domatia sometimes present. Inflorescence axillary near the ends of branches, panicles, not subtended by bracts. Flowers bisexual, 3-merous; perianth segments in 2 whorls of 3; stamens 9, in 3 whorls, the outer 2 whorls dehiscing introrsely, the inner whorl extrorsely; staminodes 3 in an innermost whorl; anthers 4-locular; ovary superior. Drupe enclosed by enlarged receptacle at the base of the fruit, perianth often persistent; seed 1, testa thin.
About 250 species, mainly in tropical regions; 6 species in Australia, 1 naturalised in Victoria.