Trees or shrubs, usually not heterophyllous, not clonal; branching sympodial. Stems usually spinose, sometimes unarmed, spines simple and/or compound. Leaves usually persistent, sometimes deciduous; stipules minute; petiole not glandular. Inflorescences axillary or terminal (on lateral twigs), few-flowered, racemelike cymes [2-flowered fascicles], pistillate flowers sometimes solitary. Pedicels articulate near base. Flowers (unisexual and/or bisexual, fragrant [not]); sepals 4-7; disc lobed; stamens ca. 15-30; filaments distinct; ovary [2-]5-7[-10]-carpellate (and -locular, placentation axile, placentae intruded and fused); styles (persistent) connate basally [entirely and columnar]; stigma notched-capitate or truncate. Fruits drupaceous. Seeds: aril absent. x = 11.