Trees or shrubs, evergreen, glabrous or pubescent, occasionally spiny. Leaves alternate, occasionally opposite, estipulate; leaf blade mostly leathery, margin entire, rarely dentate or lobed. Inflorescences umbellate, corymbose, paniculate, or a solitary flower, bracteate and bracteolate. Flowers usually bisexual, sometimes polygamous, actinomorphic, rarely zygomorphic, usually 5-merous (except ovary). Sepals usually free or slightly connate. Petals free or connate, white, yellow, blue, or red. Stamens opposite sepals; filament filiform; anther basifixed or dorsifixed, 2-loculed, dehiscing longitudinally or by pores. Ovary superior, of 2 or 3(–5) carpels, usually 1-loculed or incompletely 2–5-loculed; ovules numerous, anatropous; placentation parietal, axile, or basilar. Style short, simple or 2–5-lobed, persistent or deciduous. Fruit a capsule dehiscing by adaxial suture, or a berry. Seeds numerous; testa thin; endosperm well developed; embryo small.
Nine genera and ca. 250 species: tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, Australia, and Pacific Islands, especially Australia; one genus and 46 species (33 endemic) in China.
Chang Hung-ta & Yan Su-zhu. 1979. Pittosporaceae. In: Chang Hung-ta, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 35(2): 1–36.