Fls ±epigynous, 4-5-merous except the 2-4(5)-locular ovary; fertile fls small, with minute sep, short pet, 8 or 10 stamens, and 2-4(5) short, stout styles; sterile fls consisting only of a large, white or colored, spreading cal of 3 or 4 sep; fr a capsule, consisting of the enlarged, strongly ribbed hypanthium enclosing the ripened ovary, tipped by the persistent styles and dehiscing between them; shrubs or woody vines with opposite (rarely whorled) lvs and numerous small fls in crowded cymes; fls all perfect, or the marginal sterile, or all sterile. 80, widespread.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.