Shrubs or trees, glabrous or hairy (hairs simple, 1-celled, with transverse septa); new vegetative growth from axillary and/or pseudoterminal buds. Branches smooth at maturity, glabrous or white- or rufous-pubescent. Leaves often sweet tasting; blade with marginal teeth usually glandular, apex acute to acuminate, midvein abaxially prominent, adaxially raised, prominent, or impressed [rarely flat]. Flowers fragrant; sepals imbricate; petals imbricate, white or yellow [pink, reddish, or lavender]; filaments glabrous [hairy]; anthers rotund-ovate to spheric. Drupes usually blue, sometimes orange to brown [white], crowned by persistent calyx; endocarp 1[-5]-celled. x = 11.
Characters of the family. 300+, mostly warm regions.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
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