Trees or shrubs with opposite estipulate palmate leaves. Flowers polygamous, irregular, showy, borne on jointed pedicels one a terminal panicle or thyrse. Calyx tubular or campanulate, 5- parted, the segments unequal. Petals 4-5, clawed, unequal. Stamens 5-8; filaments long, slender. Ovary 3-loculed; ovules 2 in each cell; style slender. Fruit a leathery capsule, globose or slightly 3-lobed, smooth or spiny, 3-celled or by abortion 1-2 celled and–seeded. Seeds large, shining; endosperm none; cotyledons large and thick. Three genera and 18 species of Northern Hemisphere. (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 495).