Description from Flora of China
Shrubs, trees, or lianas, armed or unarmed. If lianas then with axillary simple or double curled tendrils, sometimes with axillary thorns. Stipules often reduced to a straight ciliate ridge connecting petiole bases. Leaves petiolate to sometimes subsessile; leaf blade margin entire, basal veins 3--7, secondary veins 1--3 distinct pairs from or near base curved along margin in species represented. Inflorescences terminal and/or axillary, thyrsoid; bracts scalelike to sepal-like. Flowers pedicellate or sessile, 4- or 5-merous. Corolla rotate to salverform; lobes valvate in bud, spreading to reflexed when open. Stamens inserted at corolla throat to middle of corolla tube, exserted to included; filaments long to short, mostly filiform; anthers orbicular to narrowly oblong, base mostly slightly 2-cleft, introrse, 2-locular and separate. Ovary (1- or)2-locular, with few to many ovules per locule. Style cylindrical; stigma capitate or faintly 2-cleft. Berries orange or red when ripe in species represented, usually globose to ellipsoid, thin- to thick-walled, outside smooth to minutely warty, glabrous; pulp fleshy, usually orange; 1--15-seeded. Seeds ± flattened to saucer-shaped, circular to elliptic in outline; seed coat sericeous, felty, or scabrous and glabrous; embryo spatulate; endosperm horny; cotyledon leaflike.
About 190 species: tropics and subtropics; 11 species in China.
Many species are medicinal and poisonous.