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Small evergreen trees, shrubs, or lianas climbing with lateral, often recurved short-shoots. Branches terete, glabrous or pubescent or with stellate-congested hairs on young branches, finally glabrate. Leaves simple, more dense towards end of branchlets; blades margin entire, apex acuminate, deep green, laxly pubescent or glabrous above, dense and whitish lanuginose or more or less glabrous below; in general 3-veined or 3-pliveined, 2-4 pairs of secondary veins, rarely more or less pinnately veined, intersecondary veins parallel reticulate, all veins below prominulous; cystoliths present. Inflorescences numerous, axillary, just under top of branch or terminal, spreading, dichasial, 8-13 times branched, terminal flower of final dichasia usually lacking; pedunculate; bracts and bracteoles in general absent, sometimes basal ramifications with leaf-like bracts; branches moderately to strongly nodose, sometimes dense and whitish or laxly pubescent. Flower buds ovoid or ellipsoid, greyish white pubescent. Flowers bisexual, or functional unisexuall; perianth lobes 4-8, in one whorl, valvate when 4-5, irregular sub-imbricate when 6-8, more or less persistent, outside greyish white pubescent, inside green to dark green, glabrous; stamens 4-5(-7), alternating with perianth lobes, filaments short, glabrous, anthers elongate, glabrous, valves opening from base to top, finally horizontally spreading, pale yellow, pollen 19-30 μm, in white heaps; staminodes and glandular appendages absent; style cylindrical, thick, with appressed hairs, stigma knob-like, small. Infructescence broad, many branched panicle, hanging, bearing few fruits, nodose, silver-white, rarely dark or brown; fruit pedicels discoid at top. Drupes silver whitish, rarely dark or brownish, often compressed, glabrous, striped, sarcocarp thin, endocarp stony, coriaceous or woody; cotyledons narrowly folded.


Guianas present, Neotropics present, Northern America, Southern America
15 species in the Neotropics, from Mexico to Brazil; 3 species in the Guianas.


Growth rings distinct, boundaries indicated by a few rows of flattened fibres and by an almost continuous band of aliform/confluent parenchyma.
Vessels for 60-70 % solitary, the remainder in radial pairs or in multiples of 3-4, occasionally in small clusters; outline round to elliptic, medium-sized to large, mostly 100-220 μm, but up to 300 μm in S. wonotoboense; number on average 5 (3-7) per mm². Perforations simple. Vessel member length 370 (200-650) μm. Intervessel pits 10-14 μm, apertures included. Vessel-ray pits large, oval, more or less in scalariform arrangement, the borders strongly reduced.
Rays 1-3-seriate, mainly biseriate; 3(2-7) per mm; almost homocellular, marginal cells radially slightly shorter, but of the same height as the procumbent cells; width 20-50 μm, height up to 235 μm (30 cells).
Parenchyma abundant, chiefly paratracheal, vasicentric to aliform and aliform-confluent but also some apotracheal diffuse and diffuse-in-aggregates present; strands of 2-4 cells. Large cystoliths in inflated cells numerous in all species except S. wonotoboense.
Fibres non-septate, thin-walled with a large lumen, diam. 20-23 μm. Pits minute, simple, mainly in radial walls. Length of fibres 860 (750-970) μm. F/V ratio 2.2.