Habit and leaf form. Large trees; bearing essential oils. Leaves evergreen; opposite; shining, leathery; petiolate; gland-dotted; aromatic; simple. Lamina entire; narrowly elliptic; pinnately veined. Leaves exstipulate. Lamina margins entire.
Leaf anatomy. Stomata present; paracytic.
The mesophyll with spherical etherial oil cells.
Stem anatomy. Cork cambium present; initially superficial. Nodes unilacunar (with two traces). Internal phloem absent. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. ‘Included’ phloem absent. Xylem with tracheids. Vessel end-walls scalariform. Wood parenchyma apotracheal. Sieve-tube plastids P-type.
Reproductive type, pollination. Plants hermaphrodite.
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in racemes. The ultimate inflorescence unit racemose. Inflorescences terminal and axillary; racemes. Flowers (bi-) bracteolate; small to medium-sized (rather small); regular; partially acyclic. The perianth acyclic and the androecium acyclic (spiralled). Free hypanthium absent.
Perianth sepaline; (5–)7(–9); free; spiralled, becoming smaller centripetally. Calyx (i.e. the perianth), (5–)7(–9); spiralled; polysepalous.
Androecium (7–)9(–13). Androecial members free of the perianth; free of one another; spiralled. Androecium seemingly usually including staminodes (the outer, tepaloid members often with undeveloped anthers, and commonly with (1-)3(-4) reduced, sterile members between the fertile stamens and the style). Staminodes when present, (1–)2–3(–5); external to the fertile stamens, or internal to the fertile stamens, or external to the fertile stamens and internal to the fertile stamens; tepaloid outside, reduced-filantherous inside. Stamens 5–10 (often eight); very shortly filantherous (i.e., the inner, fertile members). Filaments appendiculate (each with a pair of short glands at the base, cf. Monimiaceae). Anthers dehiscing by longitudinal valves; introrse. Pollen shed as single grains. Pollen grains nonaperturate.
Gynoecium 2(–3) carpelled. The pistil 2(–3) celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious to eu-syncarpous; inferior. Ovary 2(–3) locular. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical. Stigmas 3. Placentation apical. Ovules 1 per locule; pendulous; anatropous.
Fruit fleshy; indehiscent; a drupe (yellow, edible, with bony endocarp); commonly 1 seeded (and unilocular). Seeds copiously endospermic. Endosperm oily. Embryo well differentiated (rather large). Cotyledons 2.
Geography, cytology. Neotropical. Temperate. Chile. 2n = 42.
Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Magnoliiflorae; Laurales. Cronquist’s Subclass Magnoliidae; Laurales. APG 3 core angiosperms; Superorder Magnolianae; Order Laurales.
Species 1. Genera 1; only genus, Gomortega.