Type species: Symphyomyrtus lehmannii Schauer in Lehm., Pl. Preiss. 1: 127 (1845).
Trees or mallees; bark smooth, excorticating in small or large flakes or ribbons, or persistent, shortly fibrous-flaky, fibrous, or shortly fibrous and heavily impregnated with kino. Papilliferous glands present on juvenile foliage in some sections. Juvenile leaves opposite for few or many nodes. Adult leaves disjunct or rarely opposite, dorsiventral in some sections but more often similifacial. Venation variable, closely to widely spaced, obtuse or acute; intramarginal vein present or absent, sometimes distant from margin. Oil glands in bark in some sections. Inflorescence usually of single lateral umbellasters of 1 to many flowers, these sometimes on leafless lateral or terminal shoots and resembling compound inflorescences, sometimes with accessory (superposed) branching. Perianth 5-4-merous (flexible) or 4-merous (fixed); carpels (2-)3-6(-7). Calyx calyptriform, usually shed before anthesis, but in some series appressed to the calyptriform corolla (without primordial fusion) and shed together, or rarely of scarcely united deciduous sepals displaced early by expanding corolline calyptra. Corolla calyptriform. Stamens (except in early organogeny) in a continuous "multiseriate" ring, all fertile or less commonly reduced to staminodes in outer rows in some sections; anthers variable in shape, versatile or adnate, dehiscing by non-confluent slits or pores. Stigma blunt (or clavate in section Adnataria), lobed, with numerous short unicellulae and bicellular papillae. Ovules hemitropous, in 4 vertical rows in each loculus, or 6 or 8 to 10 rows in some sections. Inner integument resorbed in early development; seed testa derived from outer integument only. Intermediate and inner rows of ovules and upper ovules often infertile, producing +_ cuboid chaff in addition to elongated chaff derived from ovulodes at top of placenta. Cotyledons usually bilobed or at least +_ emarginate (except in part of section Dumaria) not folded in embryo. Seeds variable in shape and ornament not winged, hilum ventral or rarely terminal by post-fertilization curvature of ovule. Fruit generally woody, variable in shape, capsule sunken to various exserted.
Diagnosis: Trichomes absent. Calyx calyptriform or rarely free and deciduous; corolla calyptriform. Stamens in continuous whorls, all fertile or outer whorls infertile. Ovules in 4 or more vertical rows in each loculus; seed testa derived from outer integument only. Umbellasters lateral on leafy or more or less leafless branchlets, rarely multinodate showing thyrsoid structure.