Description from Flora of China
Trees or erect or scandent shrubs, evergreen or deciduous. Branchlets terete or angular and grooved. Leaves opposite or alternate, rarely whorled, simple, 3-foliolate, or odd-pinnate; petiole usually articulated. Inflorescences basically cymose, in panicles, racemes, corymbs, umbels, or heads; bracts subulate or linear, sometimes leafy. Flowers bisexual, usually heterostylous, usually fragrant. Calyx campanulate, cupular, or funnelform, 4-16-lobed. Corolla white or yellow, rarely red or purple, salverform or funnelform; lobes 4-16, imbricate in bud, sometimes doubled in cultivation. Stamens 2, included, inserted about middle of corolla tube; filaments short; anthers dorsifixed, introrse. Ovules 1 or 2 in each locule. Style filiform; stigma capitate or 2-lobed. Fruit a berry, didymous or one half aborted. Seeds without endosperm; radicle downward.
More than 200 species: Africa, Asia, Australia, South Pacific Islands, one species in the Mediterranean region; 43 species in China.