Small trees or shrubs, sometimes scandent, glabrous or white tomentose, unarmed or with axillary spines (Azima). Stipules minute or absent. Leaves opposite, simple, entire, usually thickly leathery or almost succulent. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, paniculate or fasciculate. Flowers small, bisexual or unisexual, actinomorphic. Calyx campanulate or ovoid, 3- or 4-toothed or 4-fid. Petals 4, imbricate in bud, free or shortly united at base [Salvadora]. Stamens 4, inserted on corolla tube or at base, alternate with petals; filaments filiform or base dilated, free or basally united or adnate to corolla base; anthers ovoid, dorsifixed, 2-locular, back-to-back; connectives often in an apical mucro, dehiscing longitudinally. Disk absent or represented by 4 separate scale-shaped glands alternate with filaments. Ovary superior, 1- or 2-locular or imperfectly 4-locular; ovules 1 or 2 per locule, erect, anatropous; style short; stigma 2-fid or obtuse and undivided. Fruit an indehiscent berry or drupe; endocarp membranous or papery. Seeds commonly solitary, erect, globose or compressed, with a thin or cartilaginous testa, endosperm absent; cotyledons thick, base cordate; radicle straight.
Three genera and nine species: tropical Africa and Asia, often growing in somewhat saline soils; one species in China.
Chuang Hsuan. 1981. Salvadoraceae. In: Fang Wen-pei, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 46: 14-16.