Trees or shrubs. Leaves simply pinnate, l-3(-6)-jugate, rarely unifoliolate or seemingly simple. Stipules caducous immediately after unfolding of the bud, leaving hardly any scar. Inflorescences axillary, paniculate, racemose, or spike-like, solitary, sometimes 2 per axil, rarely cauliflorous and fasciculate, mostly spherical in outline, sometimes elongated, sessile, densely flowered; bracts scale-like, mostly persistent, appressed-hairy, often glabrescent; bracteoles caducous. Flowers bisexual. Sepals 4 (or 5), imbricate, reflexed at anthesis. Petals 5 (or 4), narrow, free, glabrous. Stamens (8 — )10( — 15); filaments free, rarely united at the base, usually glabrous; anthers medi-dorsifix, lengthwise dehiscent, in- trorse, usually sagittate below and apiculate at the apex. Ovary usually stipitate and pubescent, 1-4-ovuled (1-, rarely 2-ovuled in Indo-Malesian species). Fruits usually thickened, indehiscent, often flattened especially when young, smooth or rugose, sometimes warty, l(-4)-seeded. Seeds exalbuminous.
Asia-Tropical: Pantropical: present western Pacific found eastwards as far as Micronesia, the Solomons and Fiji: present
About 70 species, pantropical, in the western Pacific found eastwards as far as Micronesia, the Solomons and Fiji; 14 species (13 indigenous and 1 cultivated) occurring in Malesia.
For delimitation of Cynometra and Maniltoa, see the note to the latter genus. This presentation of the genus Cynometra is mainly based on the revisions by Knaap-van Meeuwen (1970) and Verdcourt (1979) as cited above.
The timber of Cynometra species is not or moderately durable and, consequently, only suitable for interior construction, unless treated with preservative. Several species are treated in