About 125 genera and more than 1000 species of trees and shrubs or rarely herbs, often climbing, of wide distribution in the tropics and warm regions. Lvs. usually alternate, mostly pinnately or palmately compound, sometimes simple: fls. unisexual or bisexual, borne in racemes, panicles or corymbs, regular or irregular; calyx of 4-5 imbricated or valvate sepals; petals 4-5 or wanting, often with hairs or scales at the base inside; disk well developed, situated between petals and stamens; stamens usually 8-10, the filaments distinct or united at base; ovary superior, 2-4 celled (sometimes more), with 1 or more ovules in each cell, placentation axile or parietal, the style simple or divided; fr. very diverse. (Bailey 639).