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Medium-sized to small trees or shrubs, sometimes monoecious. Branchlets terete. Leaves paripinnate, 1-8-jugate, unwinged; Inflorescences axillary (or together pseudo-terminal, rarely ramiflorous), a thyrse or panicle (or raceme). Flowers unisexual (or bisexual), actinomorphic. Sepals 4, 5 (or 6), from somewhat less than halfway to nearly completely connate, all equal, hardly or not petaloid, hairy on both sides (or inside glabrous). Petals absent or 4 or 5, about as long as to shorter than the sepals, short-clawed, with 2 scales without a crest, outside glabrous, margin ciliolate, inside hairy or glabrous. Stamens (5-)8, exserted in male flowers; Ovules 1 per locale. Fruits sessile or short-stipitate, 1- or more-lobed, capsular, dehiscing either with a loculicidal calyptra or septifragally (along septum), smooth or slightly warty, hairy or finally glabrous, inside glabrous (or hairy). Seeds black, partly covered by a red sarcotesta (see under the subgenera).


Australasia, E Malesia present, New Caledonia present, New Hebrides present, New Zealand present, Pacific: Fiji (Fiji present); Samoa (Samoa present), Sandwich Islands present, Solomon Islands present
About 25 species in E Malesia, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, New Hebrides, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Samoa, and Sandwich Islands.


Some species are good timber trees.


Alectryon seems to be closest to Heterodendrum Desf. from E Australia and Stadmania Lam. (inch Smelophyllum Radlk.) from the Mascarene Islands, Madagascar, and SE and S Africa.


Radlk. 1933 – In: Engl., Pflanzenr. 98. p 983
Leenh. 1988 – In: Blumea. p 313
S.T. Reynolds 1982 – In: Austrobaileya. p 472
Gaertn. 1985 – In: Fl. Austral. p 24
Gaertn. 1987 – In: Austrobaileya. p 332