Dioecious or polygamous, woody climbers, usually with simple or branched hairs; stems with segmented pith. Flowers in axillary cymes, rarely solitary; calyx and corolla usually 5-merious, petals white, yellow or reddish; stamens numerous, free, anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits; ovary ovoid, cylindrical or bottle-shaped, pubescent or glabrous, locules and styles numerous. Fruit a globose to oblong berry, sometimes pubescent. Seeds numerous, embedded in pulp.
About 60 species from eastern Asia; 1 species naturalised in Australia.