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Trees or shrubs. Inflorescences of densely crowded glomerules adnate to petioles or midrib, sessile or subsessile. Flowers small, hermaphrodite or polygamous, weakly zygomorphic; bracts small and often scale-like; sepals 5, imbricate, connate at base, usually unequal rarely equal; petals 5, connate at base to form a long distinct tube, or free almost to base, lobes imbricate, usually with 2 much larger broad lobes which are bifid and bicucullate at apex, and 3 smaller linear-lanceolate entire lobes, rarely with 3 equal or nearly equal bicucullate lobes only; stamens 5, all fertile or more frequently 3 fertile and 2 reduced to staminodes, filaments adnate to inside of corolla tube or to base of corolla in species without a distinct tube, anthers introrse; disk semi-annular or 2-3-partite; ovary free, globose, 2-3-locular with 2 ovules in each loculus, style single, 2-3-lobed at apex or divided for much of length. Fruits dry coriaceous drupes, 1-3-locular with 1 seed in each loculus.


Africa present, Amazonia present, Greater and Lesser Antilles present, Guianas present, Pacific coastal Colombia present, S America present
Greater and Lesser Antilles, S America from Pacific coastal Colombia through the Guianas and common in Amazonia, also 5 species in Africa; 4 of the 19 Neotropical species occur in the Guianas.


Growth rings indistinct or absent.
Vessels diffuse, mainly solitary (occasionally solitary in T. capitulifera), sometimes paired (usually paired in T. guianensis) or in multiples (radial groups in T. capitulifera) of up to 5 vessels; 31-59 (36) per mm², more or less angular in outline, 41-100 μm (73) (up to 64 μm in T. guianensis and 142 μm in T. capitulifera) wide. Perforation plates simple, rarely with wide rims and/or with one bar. Intervessel pits and vessel-ray pits alternate (rarely opposite in T. capitulifera and T. guianensis) with minute apertures; vessel-ray pits with distinct borders.
Rays 1-3-seriate but sometimes multiseriate (3-5 cells), 7-11 per mm. Uniseriate rays composed of generally upright cells. Multiseriate rays heterogeneous composed predominantly of procumbent cells and 1-10, rarely more, rows of square to upright marginal cells. Multiseriate rays 32-92 (58) μm wide and from 488 up to 3000 (950) μm in height, sometimes composed. Prismatic crystals abundant in the ray cells.
Axial parenchyma apotracheal diffuse and forming short tangential bands, also paratracheal unilateral, vasicentric and aliform (winged aliform); 5-8, rarely more, cells per strand.
Ground tissue of non-septate fibres with thick walls and occasional simple to minutely bordered pits on the radial walls.


Gelatinous fibres have been observed in young wood (Prance 1972); T. capitulifera exhibits fine strands running across some simple perforation plates.