Description: Shrubs or trees.
Leaves opposite, usually palmately compound with 3–5 leaflets, rarely leaflets 2 or 1; petiolate or sessile.
Inflorescences terminal or axillary, cymose, compound and often much-branched, usually pedunculate. Flowers small, zygomorphic. Calyx tubular or campanulate, variously 5-toothed or truncate, persistent in fruit. Corolla tubular, 2-lipped and 5-lobed; upper lip 2-lobed; lower lip 3-lobed. Stamens 4, didynamous, exserted from corolla tube. Ovary 4-locular, 1 ovule per loculus; style filiform, glabrous, with 2 short stigmatic lobes.
Fruit a small succulent drupe, with endocarp separating into 4 hard 1-seeded pyrenes.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 250 species, tropical & subtropical Africa, Asia, Australia, South America, southern Europe. Australia: 8 species (5 species endemic), Qld, N.S.W., N.T.
Text by B. J. Conn
|One species in NSW: Vitex trifolia|