Lianes, straggling shrubs or sometimes scarcely woody climbers, usually +/- hairy. Leaves opposite, petiolate; stipules entire or emarginate, often comparatively large, mostly with conspicuous colleters within. Flowers sometimes showing limited heterostyly, small or medium-sized, in sessile or pedunculate, several- to many-flowered paniculate or capitate axillary inflorescences, or in a few cases plant cauliflorous; bracts often conspicuous, sometimes forming an involucre. Calyx: tube ellipsoid-oblong or ovoid; tubular part of limb sometimes cylindric and elongated; lobes often well-developed. Corolla usually +/- white; tube mostly narrowly cylindric; lobes small, valvate. Stamens with very short filaments or +/- sessile; anthers +/- medifixed, narrowly oblong, arising towards base of tube in long-styled flowers and near throat in shorter-styled flowers but only tips exserted, if at all. Ovary 4- or 5-locular, with elliptic placentas usually externally covered with ovules; style slender, glabrous, divided into 5 long narrow astigmatic lobes, or style with 5 arms terminating in slightly thicker stigmatic lobes. Fruits globose, many-seeded, fleshy berries. Seeds irregularly ovoid, compressed, mostly angular, finely reticulate or striate.
Species 120, tropical America, trop. Africa and Madagascar; sthn trop. Afr. +/- 6, Angola, Zambia.

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith