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Annual or perennial herbs, sometimes suffrutescent. Leaves alternate or opposite, sessile or stalked. Flowers pentamerous. Stamens: anthers subsessile in the tube, oblong to linear, with long sterile awns that are twisted round each other. Ovary not divided in flower; style filiform, stigma small, globose.


subtropical and tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australia present
About 40 species in subtropical and tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australia.


Both species from the Malesian region are used for medicinal purposes.


Brand ( I.c.) divided the genus into 6 sections exclusively on characters of the fruits such as glabrous, bristly or hairy, marginate or immarginate, smooth or rugose. Both Malesian species belong to section Leiocaryum A.DC., which, including the type species T. zeylanicum, however, has to repeat the generic name Trichodesma. The section is characterized by smooth, shiny, immarginate nutlets. Basic chromosome numbers are x = 7, 11, 12.


Brand 1921 – In: Engl., Pflanzenr., fam. IV 252: 19