Plants with milky juice. Leaves alternate or opposite, no stipules. Flowers unisexual in spikes, recemes or fascicles; sepals and petals usually distinct usually 5-merous; staminate flowers with stamens usually as many or twice as many as petals, distinct or moadelphous, anthers 2 celled, dehiscing longitudinally or transversely. Intrastamial disc usually present in multistaminate flowers, pistillode frequently present; pistillate flowers with or without staminodes, often pedicillate, ovary superior, 3 loculed and –carpelled, placentation axile, the ovules 1 or less commonly 2 and collateral in each locule, stigma 3 or 6 and linear , fruit usually schizocarp capsule splitting often elastically into three 1-seeded cocci dhisce ventrally; seeds with straight or bent embryo and copious soft-fleshy to fleshy endosperm.