Deciduous, dioecious, laticiferous trees or shrubs with axillary spines. Leaves petiolate, simple, alternate, mostly entire rarely toothed, eglandular, pinnately veined; stipules lateral, membranous, caducous. Male inflorescence peduncled, lax, ± capitate-umbellate, axillary pseudo-racemes. Male flowers: pedicellate; sepals 4, united below, lobes valvate; stamens 4, inflexed or straight in bud; pistillode subulate or absent. Female inflorescence pedunculate. dansely globose-capitate head or ± elongated spike. Female flowers. Sessile; sepals 4, united basally, lobos large, concave, unequal, obtuse, persistent, fleshy in fruit ovary sessile, obovoid, 1-loculed, ovule pendulous, style filiform, stigmatose nearly to the base, simple or shortly branched. Fruit a large globose etude of thinly pulpy drupes enveloped by fleshy sepals. Seed compressed, exalbuminous.
Species c. 12, distributed in temperate and tropical America, Africa and Asia. Represented by a single introduced species in Pakistan.