Trees and shrubs, evergreen or deciduous; leaves alternate, simple, with minute stipules; flowers hypogynous, monosporangiate, each kind bearing vestiges of the other sporophylIs, or bisporangiate; mostly dioecious, but some bisporangiate flowers present with the monosporangiate ones; sepals 4-6, small, or absent; periantb regular; petals 4-8; stamens as many, sometimes slightly united with petals, alternate with them; carpels 4-several, united, locules as many, 1 or 2 ovules in each locule; style short or none; fruit a drupe.