Shrubs, or climbers. Buttresses absent. Spines absent. Stilt roots present. Bark gray, brown; not peeling in strips. Exudate absent. Terminal buds not enclosed by leaves.
Complex hairs absent. Stinging hairs absent. Mature twig indumentum present, or absent; dense, or sparse.
Leaves spiral; not scale-like; simple; all of the same type; not modified into spines; coriaceous, or leathery; not gland-dotted; symmetric at the base; not dissected; smooth margined. Epidermis waxy, or not waxy. Venation pinnate. Secondary veins open; prominent. Smallest veins prominent, or not prominent, but visible; ladder like. Intramarginal vein absent. Stalk of blade less than a quarter the length of the blade; not winged; attached to base of leaf blade; not swollen. Stipules absent. Domatia absent. Basal glands absent. Hairs on mature leaf present; dense, or sparse.
Inflorescences present; terminal, or axillary; on a branched axis; specialized inflorescence units absent; numerous and persistent inflorescence bracts absent. Flowers bisexual; stalked; about 0.5 cm long or across to to about 3 cm long or across; round; with male or female parts not raised on a column. Hypanthium absent. Disk absent. Perianth present; with distinct calyx and corolla whorls. Sepals 4-5; free; persistent in fruit; not growing any further after flowering. Epicalyx absent. Petals present; 3-5; free; not fleshy; deciduous; not stalked; entire. Stamens 100 (many); filaments present; free of each other; free of the perianth; all equal in size; polystemonous. Anthers 2 loculed; attached by the base; not awned; dehiscing by pores. Ovary superior. Carpels solitary, or separate; 1-4. Locules 1. Styles free. Stigmas 1 lobed; not distinctive. Fruit capsular; fleshy; not multiple; splitting; enclosed in, or sitting on, the fleshy hypanthium; wingless. Seeds 4-20(-100) per fruit (many); less than 5 mm; wingless; uniform in cross-section; aril present; endospermic.
Aril fleshy, red or purple and covering at least the base of the seed. Taxon images: tetracer.gif
Dallwitz (1980) and Dallwitz, Paine and Zurcher (1993) should also be cited.