Excluding currently about a dozen genera long referred to Flacourticeae (q.v.)
Habit and leaf form. Shrubs, or herbs; non-laticiferous and without coloured juice. Herbs with a basal aggregation of leaves, or with neither basal nor terminal aggregations of leaves. Self supporting (or stemless), or climbing. Leaves alternate; non-sheathing; simple. Lamina dissected (lobed), or entire; sometimes acicular. Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins crenate, or serrate.
Stem anatomy. Cork cambium present; initially superficial. Vessel end-walls mostly simple.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers functionally male and functionally female. Plants monoecious. Gynoecium of male flowers absent.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers solitary, or aggregated in ‘inflorescences’ (few flowered); in fascicles and in racemes. The ultimate inflorescence unit (when determinable) racemose. Inflorescences few flowered, in fascicles or racemes. Flowers small to medium-sized; regular; 3–5 merous.
Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 6–10; 2 whorled. Calyx 3–5; 1 whorled; gamosepalous (at the base). Calyx lobes markedly longer than the tube. Calyx open in bud. Corolla 3–5; 1 whorled; gamopetalous. Degree of gamopetaly 0.75 (with a campanulate tube). Corolla valvate; regular.
Androecium in male flowers, 6–10. Androecial members adnate; markedly unequal (the staminodes shorter); free of one another; 2 whorled. Androecium of male flowers including staminodes. Staminodes 3–5 (short, fleshy); internal to the fertile stamens. Stamens 3–5; inserted near the base of the corolla tube, or midway down the corolla tube to in the throat of the corolla tube; isomerous with the perianth; oppositisepalous (the fertile members alternating with the petals). Anthers basifixed (the connective broadly expanded); non-versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits; introrse. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colporate.
Gynoecium in female flowers 3–5 carpelled. The pistil 1 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious to synstylovarious; superior. Ovary 1 locular; sessile. Styles attenuate from the ovary; apical; shorter than the ovary. Stigmas 3–5. Placentation parietal (with 3–5 placentas). Ovules in the single cavity 3–20; arillate.
Fruit non-fleshy; dehiscent. Dispersal unit the seed. Seeds endospermic. Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight; small.
Physiology, biochemistry. Aluminium accumulation not found.
Geography, cytology. Paleotropical and Cape. South Africa.
Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Violiflorae; Violales. Cronquist’s Subclass Dilleniidae; Violales. APG (1998) Eudicot; core Eudicot; Rosid; Eurosid I. APG 3 (2009) Order: Malpighiales.
Species 3. Genera 3; Acharia, Ceratiosicyos, Guthriea.