Description: Perennial or annual herbs, sometimes woody at the base, woody branched rhizome, branches striate.
Leaves alternate, simple, margins entire, lamina fleshy or leathery; stipules minute, terete, sometimes caducous.
Inflorescence terminal, in racemes or spike-like, rarely paniculate or umbelliform, or flowers solitary; flowers bracteate. Flowers actinomorphic or zygomorphic, bisexual, 5-merous. Hypanthium short or cup-shaped. Sepals 5, free. Petals 5, linear or spathulate, free or fused in middle into a tube. Stamens 5, free, alternate with petals; anthers 2-locular, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Ovary superior; carpels 3–5, united along a central axis; ovule solitary in each carpel; style 1, sometimes surrounded at base by a cup, terminated by 3–5 terete stigmas.
Fruit a schizocarp with up to 5 cocci (nutlets); hypanthium and ovary axis persistent; seeds erect.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 3 genera, c. 25 species, Malesia, Australia, New Zealand, Micronesia. Australia: 3 genera, 24 species, all States.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Celastraceae, Order: Celastrales)
Text by A. K. Brooks
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Petals fused into tube for about half their length; stamens 5, 3 long, 2 short; anthers not gland-tipped; style not surrounded by membranous cup||Stackhousia|
|Petals free; stamens 5, equal; anthers gland-tipped; style surrounded above ovary by membranous cup||Macgregoria|