YASIN J. NASIR
National Herbarium, Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad.
Usually evergreen shrubs or small to medium sized trees. Leaves alternate, rarely opposite, simple; stipules if present, small. Flowers regular, hypogynous, hermaphrodite or unisexual, in axillary cymose clusters or fascicles. Calyx persistent, of 4-5 united and imbricate sepals. Petals free or connate basally. Stamens as many as and alternating with the petals, free or basally adnate to the petals; anthers dehiscing longitudinally. Carpels united. Ovary 3 or more locular, with I pendulous ovule in each loculus. Fruit a drupe with a few pyrenes. Seeds endospermic, testa membranous.
A cosmopolitan family of 2 genera and 400 species, both tropical and subtropical. Represented in Pakistan by 1 genus. Related to Celastraceae, from which it differs mainly in the absence of a disc around the ovary and usually unisexual flowers.
Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for financing this research under PL-480. Thanks are also due to Mr. I.C.Hedge of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, for going through the manuscript.