Description: Trees or shrubs.
Leaves alternate [or rarely opposite], simple and entire; stipules encircling branch, usually caducous.
Inflorescence axillary, flowers clustered or solitary. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual [or rarely unisexual], 5-merous, commonly heterostylous. Sepals 5, shortly fused at base, persistent in fruit. Petals 5, free, usually with a strap-shaped appendage towards base on inner surface, not persistent in fruit. Stamens 10 in 2 series, filaments fused in lower half; anthers 2-locular, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Ovary superior; carpels usually 3, fused; 3-locular with only 1 loculus fertile; fertile loculus with 1 or 2 ovules; styles 3, free or fused.
Fruit a drupe, 1-seeded.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 4 genera, c. 250 species, pantropical regions. Australia: 1 genus, 3 species, Qld, N.S.W., N.T.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Erythroxylaceae, Order: Malpighiales)
The South American species Erythroxylum coca Lam. is the chief source of the drug cocaine. Species of the genus Erythroxylum are declared, prohibited plants in N.S.W
Text by G. J. Harden
|One genus in NSW: Erythroxylum|