Trees or shrubs with unisexual flowers (plants monoecious, rarely dioecious). Leaves deciduous or persistent, alternate, rarely opposite; stipules enclosing buds, caducous. Inflorescence a fig (syconium), i.e., a globular or pyriform hollow fleshy receptacle bearing the flowers on the inner surface; apex of fig with a narrow open mouth furnished with scales. Flowers subtended by bracts; the staminate ones with 3-5 tepals and (2-) 3-6 stamens; the pistillate with a 5-fid perianth, a 1-celled ovary and a lateral style with (1-)2 stigmas. Fruiting fig consisting of the fleshy receptacle and minute, crustaceous, 1-seeded achenes. Seeds with membranous coat and incurved embryo.