Genera : 40-50

Species: 1000-1200

To Genus Directories:


Distribution: Cosmopolitan, but mostly in the moist tropics.

Economic Uses: In drugs and cosmetics, local ly cultivated fruits and timber.

Defining Features of Interest: The family contains resin (or secretory) cavities that are filled with a yellow or white fluid and has been called the Guttiferae more generally. There are various subfamilies characterized by differences in the flower, fruit and seeds.

Fossil Evidence: Fossil pollen that is 'Clusiaceae-like' from the Eocene.

Defining Morphology

Floral Features : Actinomorphic and perfect or unisexual. Inflorescence as a solitary flower or in terminal cymes. Hypogynous. Bracts often present.

Fruit and Seed Features : Fruit a capsule, but can be a berry or drupe. Seed with an aril or winged, endosperm lacking. Placentation is axil or parietal.

Vegetative Features : Habit as herbs, shrubs or trees and rarely as lianas. Leaves simple, entire, opposite or whorled. Stipules are lacking.