Perennial herbs, often epiphytic or epilithic, monoecious or dioecious by abortion, without stinging hairs; stems juicy or succulent. Leaves distichous, opposite and heteromorphous with one leaf of each pair reduced in size, or leaves apparently alternate, with one in each pair completely reduced; lamina crenate or serrate, rather fleshy, penninerved, with linear cystoliths; stipules intrapetiolar, fused. Inflorescences unisexual, pedunculate, in axils of existing or fallen leaves; male inflorescences: flowers in small pedunculate glomerules; female inflorescences capitate with fleshy receptacles on short fleshy peduncles. Male flowers pedicellate, pentamerous (rarely tetramerous), with rudimentary pistilode. Female flowers sessile with a persisting perianth of 4 or 5 free tepals; ovary erect, symmetrical, with a penicillate stigma. Achene ovoid, surrounded at base by accrescent perianth.
Species +/- 10, mostly in humid habitats in Old World tropics; 1 in sthn trop. Afr.: Procris crenata C.B.Rob., Angola, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique.
Shrubs or small trees. Leaves alternate, 2-ranked, shortly petiolate, obliquely ovate, caudate-acuminate. Flowers bisexual, usually solitary in axils of leaves, +/- sessile; receptacle tube slender, dilated at base; Sepals 5, oblanceolate-oblong, spreading or reflexed, pubescent on both surfaces. Petals opposite calyx lobes, and +/- as long as these, entire or variously divided. Stamens 10, in 2 whorls in throat of receptacle tube, +/- exserted. Disc cup-shaped. Ovary shortly pedunculate, 1-locular; style slender; stigma capitate. Fruit drupaceous, surrounded by persistent, +/- fleshy base of receptacle tube. Seeds without endosperm; testa thin, +/- fused with pericarp; cotyledons large.
Species 15, trop. Africa; sthn trop. Afr. ?2: Dicranolepis angolensis S.Moore (perhaps synonymous with D. baertsiana De Wild. & T.Durand), and D. grandiflora Engl., Angola.
Trees or shrubs; branchlets glabrous. Leaves imparipinnate, 2-5(-8)-jugate; not crowded at tips of branches; leaflets +/- opposite, usually with pitted glands in upper (and sometimes in lower) surface; petiole and rachis not winged. Flowers in terminal and axillary thyrses. Calyx 2-5-lobed, or often bud rupturing irregularly to give a variable number of lobes. Petals 5, imbricate, puberulous. Stamens 10, 5 antepetalous ones somewhat shorter; filaments with hairy appendage at base. Disc annular to subcylindric, sometimes partially enveloping ovary, with furrows on outside accommodating stamens. Gynoecium of 5 carpels free, except for cohering styles, each carpel containing 1 ovule; styles very short, connate; stigmas 5. Fruits of 1-3(4) drupaceous mericarps. Seeds 1 per mericarp.
Species 35-40, pantropical; sthn trop. Afr. 5, Angola, Zambia.
Erect shrubs, lianes or small trees; young branches red-brown with prominent corky lenticels. Leaves opposite or alternate, petiolate, coriaceous, ovate to narrowly elliptic to lanceolate, glabrous, margin recurved. Flowers bisexual, in 3(4)-flowered, almost sessile axillary clusters; pedicels slender. Calyx: receptacle tube funnel-shaped, not contracted above ovary; calyx lobes 5 or 6, ovate-oblong. Petals minute, scale-like, arising at throat of receptacle between filaments. Stamens twice as many as sepals, alternately long and short, in a single series at mouth of receptacle tube; filaments slender, decurrent down receptacle tube; anthers oblong. Disc cup-shaped, lobed. Ovary 1-locular, sessile; style filiform; stigma capitate. Fruit drupaceous with sclerified pericarp, inside persistent receptacle tube. Seed without endosperm; cotyledons thick.
Species 9, trop. Africa; sthn trop. Afr. 2, Angola, Zambia.
Small shrubs or woody climbers; branches slender, often twining; bark lenticellate. Leaves alternate or opposite, petiolate, ovate to elliptic-lanceolate, membranous to coriaceous, glabrous, lateral nerves parallel, spreading, prominent beneath, margin thickened. Inflorescences: terminal cymes or axillary. Flowers 5-merous, solitary or fascicled in leaf axils, bracteate; pedicel sometimes glandular. Calyx: tube cylindric, glabrous. Petals forming an erect, entire or lobed, often ciliate ring at base of calyx lobes. Stamens 10, in 2 whorls in upper part of calyx tube, episepalous whorl usually slightly exserted. Disc minute, +/- deeply lobed. Ovary 1-locular, shortly stipitate; style slender; stigma capitate, papillate. Fruit dry, ovoid, enclosed in persistent base of calyx tube. Seeds without endosperm; embryo with fleshy cotyledons.
Species 5, trop. Africa and 1 in Madagascar; sthn trop. Afr. 3, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique.
Erect or sometimes scandent shrubs or small trees; bark of trunk and larger branches corky, pale brown, often with conical corky bosses surmounted, at least at first, by a prickle; smaller branches +/- prickly or unarmed, pubescent to +/- glabrous. Leaves not crowded at ends of branches, usually imparipinnate; leaflets opposite, in 2-7 pairs, usually asymmetric, margins crenate-serrate to crenate, sometimes entire; petioles and rachis winged. Inflorescences paniculate, axillary or terminal. Sepals 4 or 5(6), united at base. Petals 4 or 5(6), much longer than sepals, valvate, pubescent to glabrous outside. Stamens 8-10; filaments with a hairy appendage at base. Disc annular. Ovary 4- or 5-locular, globose or 4- or 5-lobed, with 1 pendulous ovule per locule; styles completely fused; stigma capitate, 4- or 5-lobed. Fruit a 4- or 5(6)-lobed, depressed-globose berry with 4 or 5(6) seeds.
Species 3 or 4, in trop. Africa, SE Asia and tropical Australia; sthn trop. Afr. 1: Harrisonia abyssinica Oliv., Angola, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique.
Much branched undershrubs or shrubs; young branches densely leafy, with yellowish, antrorse hairs. Leaves petiolate, usually elliptic and serrate at margin, frequently glandular-punctate; stipules 0. Flowers in terminal and axillary panicles or racemes. Calyx connate below middle, with 5 tubercles within. Petals arising at mouth of calyx tube, eligulate, white, whitish or nearly translucent. Stamens: filaments filiform, arising at mouth of calyx tube. Ovary 1-locular, 1-ovulate; ovule basal; stigmas fringed. Capsule ellipsoid or clavate, shortly rostrate, dehiscing septicidally into 3 valves from apex downwards. Seed obovoid, straight, longitudinally striate-reticulate.
Trees with terete branches. Leaves with serrulate margins. Flowers bisexual, small, in solitary or paired dichasia; peduncle short, pubescent. Petals alternating with sepals, quincuncial, connate in lower third to form a suburceolate corolla, eventually deciduous. Stamens in 5 bundles of 3 stamens each opposite sepals and adnate to corolla at base; connective not produced. Ovary 5(6)-locular, obtusely 5(6)-lobed, subhemispherical; ovules minute, many per locule on a central spongy placenta; styles 5(6), free almost to base to connate almost halfway, diverging. Fruit a 5(6)-valved, loculicidal capsule, hemispherical, woody. Seeds many, small, irregularly compressed-ovoid with loosely reticulate testa; endosperm scanty; embryo straight.
Monotypic: Ficalhoalaurifolia Hiern, trop. Africa; sthn trop. Afr., Angola, Zambia, Malawi. Originally placed in Ericaceae.
Shrubs or small trees, sometimes woody-based herbaceous perennials, monoecious or dioecious, usually +/- pubescent, stinging hairs absent; cystoliths dot-like. Leaves opposite, petiolate, lamina triplinerved, equal- or unequal-sided, dentate, sometimes lobed; stipules lateral, free or +/- connate. Inflorescences axillary, usually spike-like, with flowers gathered in unisexual glomerules along inflorescence axis (rarely sessile and globular); bracts small, deciduous. Male flowers (3)4(5)-merous with membranaceous tepals; rudimentary ovary present or absent. Female flowers with tubular perianth, constricted and 2-4-toothed at apex, completely enclosing ovary; style filiform, not articulated, with one-sided filiform stigma. Achene completely enclosed in and partly adnate to persistent perianth.
Species +/- 50, pantropical and in warm temperate regions; Africa, including sthn trop. Afr. 1: Boehmeria macrophylla Hornem., Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique.