Trees and shrubs of about 20 genera and over 500 species widely distributed in temperate regions, one furnishing the olive and several grown for ornament. Leaves opposite or rarely alternate or verticillate, simple or pinnate, entire or dentate, usually exstipulate; fls. regular, bisexual or unisexual, in terminal or axillary panicles, cymes or fascicles; calyx usually 4-lobed, often small or none; corolla of 4 or more free or united petals, rarely lacking; stamens 2, sometimes 3-5, hypogynous or epipetalous, the filaments commonly short; ovary superior, 2-celled with 2, (sometimes 4-10) ovules in each cell; style commonly short; fruit a drupe, berry caps. or samara. (Bailey 794).