Distribution: Mainly in the New World tropics, with one genus in West Africa.
Economic Uses: As a source of timber in boat making and furniture making and as a source of a tallow used in making candles and soaps.
Defining Features of Interest: The family has the characteristic, unicellular, two branched hairs known as 'malpighian hairs'. It also has some features in common with the closely related Polygalaceae.
Fossil Evidence: No known fossil record.