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Trees, shrubs or subshrubs, sometimes climbing, occasionally armed with ramal thorns. Leaves spiral, sometimes (sub)distichous, penninerved. Flowers in racemes, panicles or spikes, rarely solitary. Petals 3, entire, or all or in part bipartite and thus seemingly 6 (rarely 5), inserted on a conical disk, free or connate in pairs. Stamens 8 (Mal.), partly adnate to the petals below, 3 of them fertile, and 5 staminodial (often bifid or bilobed, void of pollen); Ovary superior, 1-celled, or 3-celled in the lower part only, with 3 anatropous uni- or ategmic ovules pending from the apex of a free central short placenta; Seed mostly 1;


Africa present present, Asia present, Asia-Tropical, Australasia, Old World tropics present, Pacific present
About 40 (or less) spp. in the Old World tropics, subdivided by ENGLER into 4 African sections, and a fifth sect. Triandrae ENGL, which comprises both African spp. and all those found in Asia, Malesia (2 spp.), Australia, and the Pacific.


Cf. .


Engl. 1900 – In: E. & P., Nat. Pfl. Fam. 2. p 18
ENGL 1889 – In: E. & P., Nat. Pfl. Fam. 1. p 231
LINNÉ 1980 – In: Blumea. p 154
SLEUM. 1935 – In: E. & P., Nat. Pfl. Fam., ed. 2, 16b. p 24