Herbs, shrubs, and trees, sometimes climbing. Upwards of 50 genera and probably 500 species, distributed around the world in both temperate and tropical regions. Yielding a good number of subjects of ornamental foliage and habit and some medicinal products. Stems sometimes prickly; leaves simple or in most genera compound or decompound, prevailingly alternate or verticillate; flowers small, greenish or whitish, not regular; calyx small, adnate to ovary, the margin toothed or obsolete; petals mostly 5, valvate or imbricate, sometimes cohering at apex and falling as a cap. The family is much like Umbelliferae, but the styles are usually more than 2, the fruit mostly saccate and lacking in special internal structure, and the species run more into woody subjects. (Bailey 742).