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Mangrove-like shrubs or trees, without pneumatophores but sometimes with stilt-roots, not spiny; only ‘combretaceous hairs’ present. Leaves alternate, with conspicuous domatia (bowl-shaped pits) in secondary vein-axils; with petiolar glands. Inflorescences axillary or terminal racemes or panicles of compact, more or less globose heads, mainly leafless; bracts very small, withered by fruiting. Flowers possibly functionally dioecious but with a range of development of male and female organs, actinomorphic, sessile, 5-merous; upper hypanthium campanulate; calyx lobes 5; petals 0; stamens (5-)10, exserted, anthers versatile; style free, glabrous. Fruits small, flattened2-winged nuts,
upper hypanthium and calyx persistent, densely packed into cone-like heads which shatter to release individual fruits.


Arabia present, NE Africa present, tropical America present, tropical W Africa present
A genus of 2 species: C. erectus in tropical America and tropical W Africa, and C. lancifolius Engl. & Diels, a non-mangrove shrub or tree of inland wet sandy ground in NE Africa and Arabia.


Growth rings faint to distinct.
Vessels diffuse, round to oval, solitary and in small radial multiples of 2-3(-5), tangential diameter (38-)87-(120) μm, (17-)25(-33) per mm². Perforations simple. Intervessel pits alternate, round to polygonal, 4-5 μm but infrequently elongate up to 10 μm, vestured; vessel-ray pits similar to intervessel pits but half-bordered, sometimes elongate to 15 μm. Sometimes deposits in heartwood.
Rays uniseriate with scanty biseriate parts, (5-)7(-9) per mm, composed of upright to procumbent cells. Large solitary crystals frequent in idioblastic ray cells, these cells in radial arrangement.
Parenchyma paratracheal, vasicentric to confluent and in bands of 3-5 cells wide, embedding the vessels; in marginal or in seemingly marginal bands; strands of (3-)5(-8) cells.
Ground tissue fibres thin- to thick-walled, sometimes very thick-walled; partly septate. Pits simple to minutely bordered, mainly on radial cell walls.