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Dioecious trees, rarely shrubs. Branchlets usually slender, smooth, without lenticels. Leaves spirally arranged, entire, chartaceous to coriaceous, generally dark green above and paler beneath in fresh, often olivaceous or brownish, rarely blackish in dry specimens, often tubercled on the undersurface, generally pinnate-, exceptionally tripli-nerved, midrib and nerves often a little sunk above, reticulation generally absent; Flowers functionally unisexual, articulate with the short, often distally thickened pedicel, in cymes loose to subcapitate, these 2-3(-4)-chotomously arranged on top of a peduncle, normally in the axils of leaves, rarely (also) opposite a leaf, or from defoliate branchlets, generally many-flowered in the ♂, few-flowered in the ♀ specimens; Petals 4 or 5 (rarely -7), valvate in bud, either remaining united below and forming a cup or distally dilated tube, or free to almost the base, tips inflexed, midrib on the inside rather obscure, caducous. Ovary cylindric; Seed 1;


Asia-Temperate: Hainan (Hainan present), Asia-Tropical: Thailand (Thailand present), Burma present, Ceylon present, S. China present, SE. Asia present, SW. India present, Solomon present, St. Cruz Is present
About 33 spp., of which 6 spp. in SE. Asia (SW. India and Ceylon to Burma, Thailand, Indo-China, and S. China incl. Hainan); in Malesia 27 spp., one of which extends to the Solomon and St. Cruz Is..


Many species have a wide range. There is no evidence yet, that the fruits are eaten by animals or of the possibility of buoyancy.


The wood is whitish-creamy and apparently not durable enough to be generally used; besides, sizes are usually small.


Specific distinction is in the present state far from satisfactory, mainly due to the still rather scarce specimens collected and their incompleteness. Too many species have been described either from male or fruiting specimens only, and their pertaining ♀ flowers or fruits are not yet known. Collectors should care to obtain as complete as possible materials and make ample field notes.


SLEUM. 1969 – In: Blumea. p 189
em. BECC. 1877 – In: Malesia. p 109