The members of thefamilyare deciduous orevergreen species with simple or complex leaves arranged most often alternately, and more rarely – oppositely.The flowersare differently structured – bisexual, unisexual, of dioecious ormonoecious location. Most of the speciescontain powerful aromatic substances in the fruits and in the vegetative parts. The familyincludes approximately 1,000 speciesspread primarily in the tropical regions, and some in the temperate zones of Europe.