Erythroxylaceae

 

 

Genera: 4

Species: 200 - 260

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Distribution: Pantropical, but well developed in South America.

Economic Uses: Most important as the source of medicinal cocaine ( and the illegal cocaine trade) and the locally cultivated and used coca leaf, which reduces fatique and hunger and has religious importance in some Andean communities. The family also produced dyes from the bark, wood for timber and oils used medicinally.

Defining Features of Interest: Most of the families genera are in the genus Erythroxylum, while the remaining genera have only 10 species among them.

Fossil Evidence: Fossils in the Eocene.