Shrubs or treelets, sometimes undershrubs. Leaves shortly petioled, chartaceous or subcoriaceous; Stipules small, intrapetiolarly united, caducous. Inflorescences lateral or terminal thyrses with a terminal flower; Flowers with ± hemispherical torus, distinctly tumid and red in fruit. Sepals 5, greenish, accrescent and turning red in fruit. Petals 5-10, in 1-2 whorls, yellow. Stamens ∞ in 2 or more whorls; Ovaries 5-10(-15), obovoid; Fruits 1-3(-5), greenish, turning black when ripe.
Africa, south of the Sahara present, Asia-Temperate: Hainan (Hainan present), Asia-Tropical: Assam (Assam present); India present, Ceylon present, Madagascar present, Nicobar Is present, North of the Malay Peninsula present
The majority of the species is found in Africa, south of the Sahara, and in Madagascar. In India and Ceylon 4 spp. occur, one of these ranging from Assam to Indo-China, Hainan, the Nicobar Is., and Malesia: in the North of the Malay Peninsula.