Description: Small trees or shrubs, rarely herbs, branchlets often with prominent lenticels.
Leaves opposite, simple or pinnate, sometimes glandular, petioles usually joined by a ridge, stipules absent.
Inflorescences terminal, paniculate or umbel-like cymes, the outer flowers sterile and with enlarged petals in several species. Flowers actinomorphicand zygomorphic, bisexual, 3–5-merous. Calyx 3–5-toothed. Corolla tube short, lobes 3–5, spreading. Stamens as many as corolla lobes; sessile, inserted in corolla tube; anthers 2-locular, dehiscence by longitudinal slits, extrorse. Ovary inferior, 1–5-locular; ovules 1 or more in each loculus.
Fruit a drupe, 1-seeded or succulent with 3–5 pyrenes.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 5 genera, c. 200 species, N temperate, tropical montane, not in Africa. Australia: 2 genus, 5 species (2 species endemic, 3 species naturalized), Qld, N.S.W., Vic., Tas., S.A.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Adoxaceae, Order: Dipsacales)
Text by G. J. Harden
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