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Aerial stem-parasitic shrubs, glabrous. Leaves opposite, with normally developed ones and rudimentary cataphyll- like ones borne on each branch; normally developed leaves entire, unifacial, curvinerved, with 1-5 veins usually visible on both surfaces; rudimentary leaves forming a boat- shaped collar encircling the stem. Inflorescences terminal and axillary, a spike of decussate pairs of cymules (triads) or single flowers; central flowers usually female; lateral flowers female or male; bracts small, in pairs forming a boat-shaped cupule (like the rudimentary leaves) subtending each cymule; bracteoles of the lateral flowers (when present) small, free, entire to densely fimbriate. Fruit narrow-ellipsoid to ellipsoid, smooth or tuberculate, crowned by the persistent tepals.


Asia-Tropical, from Sri Lanka eastwards and southwards to New Guinea and Solomon Islands present
Perhaps 9 species distributed from Sri Lanka eastwards and southwards to New Guinea and Solomon Islands. In Malesia 6 species, without a distinct centre of diversity.


In most species of Ginalloa the stems long remain green. Ginalloa is similar to Notothixos in producing both normally developed and rudimentary cataphyll- like leaves on each branch system but in Ginalloa the pattern is more variable, and some species bear very few normal leaves.
The basic inflorescence unit is a small 3-flowered dichasium (cymule), usually with both male and female flowers, although all-female cymules are sometimes produced when flowering is prolific. The spicate arrangement of the cymules is consistent in the genus Ginalloa, although in several species the cymules are often or always reduced to solitary flowers.


There is no critical revision of the entire genus, and the taxonomic status of species from Burma and the Andaman Islands is uncertain.