Genera : 40 +/-

Species: 600 +/-

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Distribution: Pantropically, but concentrated in South America and especially in Brazil.


Economic Uses: Cultivated as ornamentals

Defining Features of Interest: Sometimes divided into smaller families, the family is considered to be closest in characters to the Dipterocarpaceae.

Fossil Evidence: No known record.

Defining Morphology

Floral Features : Actinomorphic and perfect. The inflorescence as a pannicle, raceme or false umbel. Hypogynous.

Fruit and Seed Features : Fruit a berry or aggregate of drupes (rarely a capsule). Some genera with an enlarged, red and fleshy receptacle. Seed with endosperm present or lacking. Placentation is axile or parietal.

Vegetative Features : Habit as shrubs or trees. Leaves simple, (rarely pinnately compound) and alternate. Often leathery. Stipules are present.