Usually trees or shrubs. Leaves alternate, exstipulate, simple, entire or pinnately divided, generally coriaceous. Inflorescence a receme, a spike or an umbel, bracteate, often very showy. Flowers monochlamydeous, usually zygomorphic and bisexual. Sepals 4,valvate, tubular, commonly bent or rolled back when open, often alternating with 4(-3-2) disc “glands or scales”, petaloid. Stamens 4, free, opposite to and fused with sepals often leaving only anthers free. Pistil 1, superior: ovary sessile or borne on a gynophore, unilocular, usually oblique; ovules 1-2 or many, biseriate; style often bent inward, sometimes wiry. Fruit a follicle, drupe or a nut, coriaceous or woody.
The only family of Proteales comprising 62 genera and about 1050 species represented in the tropical regions of Australia, Africa, South East Asia and Central and South America. One genus with one species is represented in Pakistan. Another plant, Macadamia ternifolia F. v. Muell. reported by R. N. Parker (For. Fl. Punj. 1924) as cultivated in Lahore, has never been collected since nor is available in the herbaria of the country.
Acknowledgement: We are grateful to the United States Department of Agriculture for financing this research under P.L. 480.