Trees, shrubs or lianous, or rarely perennial herbs, usually pubescent or scabr¬ous. Leaves large, petiolate, alternate, rarely opposite, simple, entire or serrate, penninerved; stipules absent or rarely alate and adnate to the petiole and caducous. Flowers in terminal or axillary cymes or racemes, sometimes solitary, yellow or white, showy, fragrant, bisexual or unisexual, actinomorphic, hypogynous. Sepals (3—) 5 (—7), free, imbricate, persistent. Petals (2—) 5 (-6), free, im¬bricate, obtuse, emerginate or incised, often crumpled in bud, fugacious. Stamens usually numerous, free or basally connate into bundles, mostly persistent; anthers dithecous, basifixed or versatile, introrse, extrorse or both, oblong-linear, dehiscing longitudinally or by terminal pores. Carpels usually numerous, sometimes l—5, generally apocarpous; ovary superior, l-loculed, ovules commonly anatrop¬ous, erect, l-many in each locule, placentation parietal; styles usually free, as many as the carpels; stigmas simple-capitate or peltate. Fruit a follicle or baccate, dehiscent or indehiscent. Seeds l-many, embedded in copious mealy or fleshy endosperm, usually arillate; embryo small, straight.
A family of l0 genera and 400 species distributed in tropics of both the hemis¬pheres particularly in Australia. In West Pakistan it is represented by l cultivated species.
Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the United States Department of Agriculture for financing this research under P.L. 480, and to Mr. I. Hedge for his suggestions.