Presence of mucilaginous sap,  bisexual, actinomorphic flowers, presence of epicalyx, monodelphous stamens, 1 celled anthers, spiny pollen distinguishes this family from the rest. Leaves alternate, toothed or lobed, nerved from base, stipulate, Flowers  axillary, large, showy, Sepals 5 ,Petals 5. Stamens many, connate into a staminal tube, the filaments apically distinct, anthers  reniform, dehiscing longitudinally, the pollen grain distinct, usually spiny and large, pistil typically 1, ovary superior, 2- many loculed and carpelled with the locules usually in a ring, the placentation axile, the ovules 1-many in each locule. Anatropous, style 1 and apically branched or as many as carpels, the stigmas as many or twice as many as carpels and often capitate to discoid or introrsely decurrent; Fruit a sharply ribbed capsule, berry or samara,  seed often pubescent or comose, embryo straight or curved,  endosperm  often oily.