|Abstract||Trees or erect, rarely scandent shrubs, sometimes hemi-, rarely autoparasitic. Leaves spirally arranged, rarely distichous, simple, entire, often with parchment-like and/or finely tuberculate surfaces, mostly penni-, rarely pli-nerved, petioled, exstipulate, not rarely of a greyish-yellowish-olivaceous colour and dull, especially in the dry state. Inflorescences axillary, rarely on old wood, short racemes and panicles, or elongate spikes, often fascicles or glomerules, these rarely reduced to a solitary flower. Flowers generally bisexual, rarely unisexual (monoecious or andro-dioecious), generally actinomorphic, cyclic, 3—7- merous, rarely heterostylous. Calyx small in anthesis, often very shortly 3—7- lobed, -dentate, or -crenulate, the cup-like base free or adnate to the disk and/or ovary to various degrees, afterwards sometimes accrescent, and then either free from or connate with the fruit. Petals 3—7, free or connate below, valvate, caducous. Disk sometimes present, consisting of free glands, or cup-like, rarely accrescent and then covering the fruit almost to the apex. Stamens 1—3-seriate, hypogynous, 4—15 in number, epipetalous, or partly also episepalous, rarely in part staminodial; anthers basi- or medifixed, with 2 thecae, or rarely with 1 theca, dehiscing lengthwise. Ovary mostly superior, rarely semi-inferior when immersed in the disk, or inferior when connate with the cup-like flower-axis (Schoepfia), either 1-locular with 2—3 (—5, —7) ovules pendent from the apex of a central free placenta (sometimes projecting into the stylar canal), or 3—5 (—7)-locular in the lower part only (rarely completely so), a single ovule hanging then from the inner angle into each of the cells; ovules generally anatropous, uni-, bi-, or ategmic; style, if any, conical, columnar or filiform, with a small, sometimes 3—5-partite or -lobed, subsessile stigma. Fruit a drupe with a thin and often fleshy, sometimes dehiscent or caducous exocarp, and a crustaceous to woody endocarp, or concrescent with the cup-shaped floral axis, or with an accrescent calyx or disk which then forms an external fleshy layer. Seed 1; testa (if any) thin; endosperm abundant, starchy and/or oily, bearing the embryo at its apex; cotyledons 2, 3, or 4.|
Distribution. A pantropical family with about 27 genera and approximately 170 spp., predominantly in the tropics, a few in the subtropics.