Small or medium sized shrubs, erect or sometimes scandent, usually with soft wood and broad pith. Leaves opposite, simple, entire, exstipulate (stipulate in V. opulus). Flowers hermaphrodite, usually in cymes or panicles. Calyx adnate to the ovary, usually 5-fid or toothed. Corolla gamopetalous, tubular, rotate, salverform or 2-lipped, regular or irregular. Stamens inserted on corolla tube, alternating with lobes; anthers free. Ovary inferior, 2-54ocular; style terminal, usually simple, long and slender (short and divided in Viburnum); stigma capitate or lobed. Fruit a drupe or berry-like or capsular.