Description: Shrubs, trees or undershrubs; stem and branches terete or obscurely 4-angled.
Leaves simple or 1-foliolate, decussate, petiolate or sessile.
Inflorescences terminal or axillary, cymose, compound and often much-branched, pedunculate. Flowers small, zygomorphic; bracts small, narrow. Calyx ± tubular, variously toothed or truncate, often ± 2-lipped; persistent in fruit. Corolla tubular, usually 4-lobed, ± 2-lipped with upper lip usually entire or rarely 2-lobed, lower lip 3-lobed. Stamens 4, didynamous, exserted from corolla tube. Ovary 4-locular, 1 ovule per loculus; style exserted, with 2 short stigmatic lobes.
Fruit a small succulent drupe, with a hard 4-locular pyrene.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 200 species, tropical & subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, Malesia & Australia. Australia: 7 species (3 species endemic), Qld, N.S.W., N.T., W.A.
Text by B. J. Conn
|One species in NSW: Premna lignum-vitae|