Scandent shrubs, often with hairy stems. Leaves paired, petiolate; domatia absent or present as hairy tufts in axils of lateral and sometimes tertiary nerves beneath; bacterial nodules absent; stipules with 3-15 fimbriae or with a single lobe. Flowers bisexual, 4- or 5(6)-merous, sessile or pedicellate in pyramidal to racemiform or hemispherical to flat-topped panicles, terminal on the main or short lateral branches, sessile to pedunculate (the presence of rudimentary leaves frequently renders this character ambiguous); bracts and bracteoles present, either conspicuous and exceeding calyx or inconspicuous. Calyx: tube ovoid to campanulate; limb tube usually short, slightly wider than tube, bearing 4 or 5(6) ovate, subulate, filiform to linear or triangular lobes. Corolla white or cream, usually small, salver-shaped; tube cylindrical to funnel-shaped, glabrous to sparsely pubescent inside; lobes 4 or 5(6), contorted in bud, spreading or reflexed. Stamens arising in mouth of tube, exserted, or at least partly so; filaments short; anthers attached near base or occasionally near middle, usually shortly apiculate. Disc fleshy, glabrous. Ovary 2(3)-locular (or incompletely so); ovules solitary, inserted on a small fleshy placenta ascending from base of ovary; style slender, greatly or less often scarcely exceeding corolla tube, glabrous or nearly so or less often densely pubescent just above base; stigma +/- exserted, fusiform, clavate or broadly elliptic to globose, entire or rarely 2- or 3-lobed. Fruit 1-locular, frequently orange to red, drupaceous, spherical, somewhat fleshy with a chartaceous endocarp; calyx limb persistent or less often deciduous. Seed 1, globose, filling the cell, hilum basal, irregular; testa thin, reticulate; albumen horny, deeply ruminate; embryo curved.
Species 20, trop. Africa and Madagascar; sthn trop. Afr. 7, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique.