Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi.
Shrubs or trees. Leaves simple, opposite, entire, exstipulate (sometimes with rudimentary stipules). Inflorescence densely fascicled or laxly panicled. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual or unisexual (plants monoecious or dioecious when flowers unisexual) . Calyx campanulate or ovoid with 2-4 connate sepals. Corolla of 4-5 free or connate petals, campanulate, imbricate or contorted in bud. Stamens 4-5, inserted on the corolla tube, alternating with petals; filaments free or connate at the base; anthers dithecous, ovate, dehiscing longitudinally. Disc absent or composed of 4 glands or scales, alternating with the filaments. Ovary superior, bicarpellate, 1-2-locular; ovules 1-2 in each locule with basal placentation; style short or absent, stigma entire or bifid. Fruit a berry or a drupe, usually one seeded. Seeds erect, globose, exalbuminous; embryo with thick cotyledons.
A family of 3 genera and 12 species, distributed mainly in tropical & subtropi¬cal Asia and Africa. Only one genus and 2 species are reported from W. Pakistan.
Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the United States Department of Agriculture for financing this research under P.L. 480. Thanks are also due to Mr. B. L. Burtt of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, for his helpful suggestions.