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Trees, more or less scandent shrubs, or lianas. Young branches (except those immediately below inflorescence) often with paired thorns. Leaves petiolate; stipules seemingly present at base of older leaves, as paired thorns, or absent. Inflorescences axillary and terminal, few-flowered racemes to irregular, profusely flowering panicles; lower bracts sometimes leaf-like, membranaceous; bracteoles similar to but smaller than bracts, or absent. Flowers bisexual, pedicellate; tepals 5, reflexed in fruit, membranous, colored, glabrous, subequal; stamens ca. 15-65, irregularly inserted, anthers versatile, extrorse, linear, cordate at base and apex; ovary 1-locular, ovule 1, basal, campylotropous, ovary compressed and merging with winged style, stigma 1, papillose, decurrent on thicker margin of style. Fruit a samara with a dorsal wing, growing out from elongating style, basal part sometimes bearing lateral winglets; seed 1, globose or compressed-globose, testa coriaceous, embryo extremely curved.


Guianas present, secondary forests outside the Amazonian region present, tropical South America present
Species 6, principally in tropical South America, mostly in secondary forests outside the Amazonian region; 2 species in the Guianas.