Shrubs or trees, rarely climbing, often whitish pubescent or tomentose. Leaves opposite or ternate, palmately (1-) 3-5 (-7)-foliolate, petiolate; leaflets mostly petiolulate, unequal, entire to dentate. Inflorescence terminal or axillary, cymose, often in racemiform or spicate panicles, usually elongated and tapering above. Flowers small, white, blue, violet or yellowish, bracteate. Calyx usually campanulate, truncate, with 5-fid or -toothed apices, slightly enlarged in fruit. Corolla-tube cylindrical, short, straight or slightly curved; limb ± 2-lipped. with 5, unequal lobes, oblique; upper lip usually erect, 2-fid; lower lip 3-fid, with larger middle lobe. Stamens 4, didynamous, often exserted, inserted on corolla-tube; anther cells parallel, pendulous, becoming divaricate and somewhat twisted later. Ovary 4-locular with laterally attached 1 ovule in each locule; style filiform with slightly 2-fid stigma. Fruit drupaceous, small, globose or ovoid, fleshy, invested below by somewhat enlarged calyx, endocarp hard and horny; seeds oblong or oblong-obovate, exalbuminous.
About 225 species, chiefly of the tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions; represented here by 3 species.