Description: Trees or shrubs, dioecious, lacking latex.
Leaves simple, alternate, 2-ranked, leathery, often having a peppery or radish-like taste when fresh. Stipules present, often caducous.
Inflorescences usually axillary. Flowers actinomorphic, unisexual, solitary or in clusters (usually fasciculate), sometimes males forming short racemes, usually small, pedicellate. Perianth segments 4 or 5 (–7), free of nearly so, often unequal, inner ones petaloid, (sometimes interpreted all as sepals with petals absent). Male flowers with few to many stamens; filaments free, anthers bilocular, opening with longitudinal slits. Female flowers usually with 1-locular ovary (ovary can have 1–3 locules); ovules 2 per locule; style 1 (or absent), short, branched; stigma often bifid.
Fruit usually a single-seeded drupe, with stigma often persistent. Seed 1 (rarely 2), ecarunculate.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 4 genera, 210 species, mainly tropical, some extending into temperate zones; Australia: 1 genus, 4 species (3 endemic), Qld, N.S.W., N.T., W.A.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Putranjivaceae, Order: Malpighiales)
Previously in the tribe Drypeteae in subfamily Phyllanthoideae (now Phyllanthaceae) in Euphorbiaceae. Contains glucosinolates (mustard oil glycosides).
Text by (last revised) May 2017 (PGK)
Taxon concept: Australian Plant Census (accessed May 2017)
|One Genus in NSW: Drypetes|