Trees, shrubs or perennial herbs, sometimes with succulent stems, monoecious. Exudate (from cut stems) present, white. Unarmed*. Glabrous throughout. Stipules free*, often narrow or finely divided, not spine-like*, not leaf-like*, often glandular. Leaves distributed evenly along stem, or apically crowded, alternate, opposite or almost whorled, simple, unlobed, base symmetrical, margin toothed or entire, blade not pellucid-punctate, lower surface with a row of strictly marginal glands, base sometimes 2-glandular on upper surface at junction with petiole; pinnate-veined or with venation reduced or obscure, domatia absent*; stipel-like structures absent*. Petiole present to almost absent, without swellings or bends at base or apex*, without glands (but see leaf base and stipule base). Inflorescence with axis, terminal and axillary, raceme-like; bracts with a pair of cup- or disc-shaped glands, not leaf-like*, green; bracteoles filiform; floral buds initially covered by large bracts; pedicels absent or very short, not articulated*. Male flowers: sessile in bud, later with short pedicel; sepals 2, partially fused, greenish; petals 0; disc 0; stamens 2, free or fused at base; anther without conspicuous modification, thecae extrorse in bud; pistillode absent. Female flowers: sessile or almost so; sepals 3, free to completely fused, greenish; petals 0; disc 0; ovary locules 2–3, ovules per locule 1; styles 2–3*, short, free* or partially fused*, entire, styles or stigmas not flat*, surface smooth*; staminodes absent. Fruit dehiscent, not sculptured, greenish to brown, large, woody, horned basal part of fruit (carpidiophore) persistent on stem; seed with or without caruncle, with no other covering or membranous layer; embryo flat, not minute, cotyledons leaf-like.
An asterisk * indicates a state has been assumed but not yet confirmed.