Excluding Sarcotheca and Dapania
Habit and leaf form. Shrubs; non-laticiferous and without coloured juice. Plants non-succulent. Leaves alternate; petiolate (and articulate); not gland-dotted; disguisedly compound; unifoliolate. Lamina pinnately veined; cross-venulate. Leaves stipulate (and stipellate). Stipules caducous. Lamina margins (of the leaflet) entire.
Stem anatomy. Xylem without tracheids. Vessel end-walls simple.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers functionally male, or functionally female. Plants dioecious. Female flowers with staminodes (ten, in two whorls). Gynoecium of male flowers pistillodial (resembling that of female flowers, but lacking ovules).
Inflorescence, floral, fruit and seed morphology. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in racemes. The ultimate inflorescence unit racemose. Inflorescences short, strobiloid racemes. Flowers bracteate; (bi-) bracteolate; regular; 5 merous; cyclic; ‘pseudo-hermaphrodite’ and pentacyclic. Free hypanthium absent. Hypogynous disk present (fleshy); intrastaminal (the stamens inserted on its margin).
Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 10; 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 5; 1 whorled; gamosepalous (shortly connate below). Calyx lobes markedly longer than the tube. Calyx regular; persistent (in female flowers); imbricate (quincuncial). Corolla 5; 1 whorled; polypetalous; imbricate (quincuncial); regular. Petals sessile.
Androecium 10. Androecial members free of the perianth; markedly unequal (the outer members longer); free of one another; 2 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 10; diplostemonous; oppositisepalous; both alternating with and opposite the corolla members. Anthers dorsifixed; versatile; dehiscing via longitudinal slits. Pollen grains aperturate; 3 aperturate; colporate (colporoidate).
Gynoecium 3 carpelled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth. The pistil 3 celled. Gynoecium syncarpous; synovarious to synstylovarious (the styles joined basally only); superior. Ovary 3 locular; sessile. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 3; partially joined (fused basally); attenuate from the ovary; apical. Stigmas 3. Placentation axile. Ovules 2 per locule; funicled; pendulous; epitropous; with ventral raphe; collateral; arillate (carunculate, the caruncle eventually orange-red); anatropous.
Fruit large, leathery, non-fleshy; dehiscent; a capsule. Capsules septicidal and valvular (2–3 valved). Fruit 1 seeded. Seeds endospermic. Seeds without starch. Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight (or oblique). Testa smooth.
Geography, cytology. Paleotropical. Tropical. Tropical Africa.
Taxonomy. Subclass Dicotyledonae; Crassinucelli. Dahlgren’s Superorder Rutiflorae; Geraniales. Cronquist’s Subclass Rosidae; Geraniales. APG 3 core angiosperms; core eudicot; Superorder Rosanae; fabid; Order Celastrales.
Species 1. Genera 1; Lepidobotrys.