Genera : 12 - 17

Species: 750 - 1,000


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Distribution: Cosmopolitan, excepting New Zealand, the southern Pacific islands and the extreme Northern Hemisphere.

Economic Uses: As the source of dyes, strong fibers and as a remedy for snakebite. A few species are used locally as medicines.

Defining Features of Interest: The features defining the genera are diverse and has allowed for the spearation of some into different families.

Fossil Evidence: Fossil fruits in the Eocene and micro and macro fossils in the Miocene.