Description: Evergreen or deciduous trees or shrubs, bark sometimes with a milky latex; indumentum simple or stellate.
Leaves alternate, usually 1-pinnate, rarely 2–3-pinnate or rarely simple, margins mostly entire.
Inflorescences usually axillary panicles, rarely racemose, spicate or whorled. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual or unisexual. Sepals 3–5, free or fused. Petals usually 3–6, rarely up to 14, fused at base or coherent with each other and staminal tube. Stamens usually 4–10; filaments free or more often variously united to form a tube and either filaments free towards apex or anthers on margin or within throat of staminal tube; anthers 2-locular, dehiscing longitudinally, introrse. Disc present or absent. Ovary superior, usually 2–6-carpellate, and with as many loculi; ovules 1–many per loculus; stigma various.
Fruit a capsule, berry or drupe or rarely a nut; seeds sometimes winged.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 52 genera, c. 600 species, chiefly tropical regions. Australia: 11 genera, 38 species, Qld, N.S.W., N.T., S.A., W.A.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Meliaceae, Order: Sapindales)
Text by M. J. Taylor & G. J. Harden
Taxa not yet included in identification key
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Leaves compound with 2–many leaflets; petals less than 2 cm long||2|
|Leaves simple; petals c. 2.5 cm long||Turraea|
|2||Leaves 2–3-pinnate, leaflets usually more or less toothed||Melia|
|Leaves 1-pinnate, leaflets generally entire|
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|3||Stamens with filaments free; seeds winged||Toona|
|Stamens with filaments fused into a tube; seeds not winged|
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|4||Fruit a drupe with woody endocarp; staminal tube with frilly lobes and terminated by appendages||Owenia|
|Fruit a capsule; staminal tube not as above|
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|5||Leaves with usually 10–23 leaflets; staminal tube attached about halfway to petals||Dysoxylum|
|Leaves with 2–11 leaflets; staminal tube not fused to petals|
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|6||Leaves imparipinnate, leaflets 5–11; capsule depressed-globose||Synoum|
|Leaves paripinnate, leaflets 2 or 4, or rarely 6; capsule obovoid or globose|
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