Scandent shrubs or small trees, with or without spines, usually with stiff, thick branches. Leaves petiolate, oblong, elliptic or ovate, glabrous or hairy; stipules thick, triangular, connate at base into a sheath, long-caudate at apex. Flowers in opposite, simple to much-branched, many-flowered, axillary cymes; bracts conspicuous; buds elongate-lanceolate, beaked. Calyx 5-partite, segments erect, ovate to linear. Corolla 5-lobed, green, densely villous; lobes reflexed, long, linear; tube cylindric to somewhat campanulate, with ring of deflexed hairs within, rarely glabrous; throat glabrous. Stamens 5, arising in corolla mouth, exserted; filaments usually shorter than linear anthers. Disc annular, tumid. Ovary 2-locular, with a single pendulous ovule in each locule; style much exserted; stigmatic knob widely cylindric, 2-lobed. Fruit a subglobose drupe with 1 or 2 pyrenes. x = 11 (polyploidy).
Species 18, tropical Africa; 1 in sthn Afr.: Vangueriopsis lanciflora (Hiern) Robyns ex Good, Namibia.