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Terrestrial or epiphytic, caulescent, spreading, prostrate, pendulous, to erect herbs or small shrubs, without modified stems. Stems rarely branched. Leaves opposite, equal or unequal in a pair, venation pinnate, foliar nectaries absent. Flowers axillary, solitary or in fasciculate few-10-flowered inflorescences; epedunculate; bracteoles small (in Guianan species), sometimes caducous; usually pedicellate. Calyx lobes 5, usually free nearly to base; corolla usually red, less commonly yellow, rarely greenish or cream, tubular or ventricose, limb 5-lobed; stamens exserted or included, filaments basally connate, anthers coherent in 2 pairs, dehiscing by longitudinal slits, thecae parallel, not divergent; staminode absent or minute; disc a single dorsal 2-lobed gland or rarely 5 separate glands; ovary superior, stigma stomatomorphic or 2-lobed. Fruit a fleshy, indehiscent, white or colored berry.


Amaprá present, C America present, Caribbean Islands present, Guianas present, Northern America, Southern America: Bolivia (Bolivia present), northern S America present
About 160 species from Mexico through C America, to the Caribbean islands and into northern S America as far south as Bolivia and east to Amaprá in Brazil; 4 species are so far known from the Guianas, a 5th, C. scandens, included here because it might be expected in our area.


Chromosome number n=9 (or 18) (Skog 1984).