Description from Flora of China
Kleinia Crantz (1766), not Miller (1754); Mekistus Loureiro ex B. A. Gomes; Sphalanthus Jack.
Lianas woody. Leaves opposite or subopposite; petiole persistent and thornlike; leaf blade ± elliptic, glabrous or hairy. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, simple or sometimes compound spikes. Calyx tube (1.7-)5-9 cm, ± uniformly narrowly tubular except funnelform at apex, deciduous above ovary, hairy or subglabrous; lobes 5, deltoid or triangular-lanceolate, small, apex sometimes cuspidate. Petals 5, white or red, larger (often much more so) than calyx lobes. Stamens 10, not or scarcely exserted from calyx tube. Style partly adnate to inside of calyx tube (in Chinese species). Fruit fusiform to subglobose or ovoid, longitudinally 5-ridged or -winged, dry, leathery.
Jongkind (Bull. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat., B, Adansonia 12: 275-280. 1991) proposed uniting Quisqualis with Combretum on the grounds that the two genera cannot be separated morphologically in a consistent manner. Tan et al. (loc. cit., see note under family heading) found Quisqualis and Combretum to be monophyletic sister taxa, but noted that their sampling (two species of each genus in five samples) was insufficient to examine problems of generic circumscription.
About 17 species: tropical Africa, tropical Asia; two species in China.