Genera : 3-4

Species: 300 - 350


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Distribution: Tropical and subtropical, but especially in the Asiatic tropics.

Economic Uses: Source of the commercial fruit kiwi.

Defining Features of Interest: The family has been placed in the past in the Ericaceae and the Theaceae , with which it shares certain characteristics.

Fossil Evidence: None found.

Defining Morphology

Floral Features :Actinomorphic and perfect. Inflorescence as axillary cymes. Flowers often subtended by small bracteoles.Hypogynous.

Fruit and Seed Features : Fruit a berry or loculicidal capsule. Seeds are small with an oily endosperm. Placentation is axile.

Vegetative Features : Habit as shrubs, trees or lianas. Leaves simple and alternate. Stipules lacking.