Small trees or shrubs, usually single-stemmed and often with a palm-like habit, polygamous or dioecious. Leaves paripinnate, up to 1 m and longer, with +/- 4-8 pairs of +/- opposite leaflets; stipules absent. Inflorescences spicate racemes arranged in rows or groups on old wood or roots. Flowers slightly irregular with petals crowded to one side and stamens or ovary on opposite side. Calyx +/- urn-shaped, (4)5-lobed, finely, densely tomentose; lobes 1/4-1/2 as long as calyx. Petals 4 or 5(6), unequal, slightly longer than calyx, linear-spathulate, with a short scale and sometimes also a short subulate process above the claw. Disc annular, asymmetrical, lobed. Stamens 6-8(15); filaments filiform, conspicuously hairy; anthers 2-thecous, dorsifixed, linear-oblong. Ovary 3-9-locular and -lobed, with 1 erect ovule per locule; style present, sometimes arched in female flowers; stigma entire to slightly lobed. Fruit a large and fleshy, lobed or ribbed drupe. Seed 1 per locule, without aril.
Species 30 or more, trop. Africa; sthn trop. Afr. +/- 6, Angola (Cabinda).
Erect, glabrous shrubs, not or little branched. Leaves alternate, clustered near tips of branchlets, petiolate, persistent, elongate-obovate or -spathulate, apex rounded but tip abruptly long-acuminate, long-attenuate towards base, subcoriaceous, +/- sharply serrate-dentate; lateral nerves 14-18 pairs, prominent on both faces; stipules lanceolate, caducous. Inflorescence epiphyllous, 1-3(4)-flowered, on midrib of upper ?-3/4 of lamina, glabrous; median bract ovate-lanceolate, accrescent. Flowers bisexual or unisexual (plants polygamous), pedicelled. Sepals 3 or 4(5), imbricate, rather irregular and dry, ovate, ciliolate. Petals 4-6, imbricate, thin, much larger than sepals, ciliate. Stamens 25-40, free; filaments subulate; anthers almost basifixed, longitudinally dehiscent, apiculate by protruding connective. Ovary superior, glabrous, 1-locular, with 2-4 multi-ovulate parietal placentas; style simple, shortly 2-4-fid. Capsule opening with 2 or 3 valves; pericarp woody. Seeds weakly arillate, with endosperm.
Shrubs or small trees with dense leafy crown; probably monoecious. Leaves pinnate; leaflets entire, lowermost ones reduced, stipule-like, one of the pair inserted on or shortly above petiole, sometimes caducous. Inflorescence axillary, racemose, slender, simple or branched. Flowers regular. Sepals 5, united shortly at base; lobes unequal, oblong-ovate. Petals 5, elliptic-lanceolate to ovate, exceeding sepals at maturity, scale 2-lobed, half as large as limb. Disc a complete ring, flat, broad, glabrous. Male flower: stamens 9, glabrous. Female flower: staminodes 8, curved in bud, glabrous; ovary 2-lobed, 2-locular; style truncate, with 2 stigmatic grooves. Fruit subglobose, grooved.
Monotypic: Haplocoelopsis africana F.G.Davies, tropical east Africa and Angola. The Angolan material may represent a separate, closely related taxon.
Trees. Leaves spirally arranged; stipules absent. Flowers bisexual, solitary or in few-flowered fascicles, axillary or in axils of fallen leaves. Calyx a single whorl of 5 free imbricate sepals. Corolla cyathiform; lobes 5, free almost to base, simple, imbricate, spreading or reflexed at tip. Stamens 10-15, 2 or 3 opposite each corolla lobe, arising ?-1/2-way up on corolla lobes; filaments of each pair or group of 3 fused almost to apex, hairy; anthers extrorse, hairy or glabrous; staminodes 5, usually 3-dentate at apex, hairy. Disc absent. Ovary 10-locular; placentation axile; style slightly exserted. Fruit subglobose, several-seeded. Seed strongly laterally compressed; testa smooth, shiny; scar adaxial, almost full length, very narrow; embryo with thin foliaceous cotyledons and exserted radicle; endosperm present.
Species 2, W trop. Africa; sthn trop. Afr. 1: Tridesmostemon omphalocarpoides Engl., Angola (Cabinda).
Tall, deciduous, often dioecious trees, often with strongly buttressed or deeply fluted bole. Leaves usually spirally arranged, rarely opposite, chartaceous or coriaceous, +/- clearly pellucid-punctate, densely pubescent to subglabrous; lateral nerves many-paired, looped distally and running parallel to leaf margin or extending to leaf edge to form the thickened margin, tertiary veins conspicuous; stipules 0. Flowers often unisexual, (4)5(6)-merous, sessile or shortly pedicellate, fasciculate in axils of current or fallen leaves. Calyx a single whorl of 4-6 sepals +/- free to base, or 6-11 in a closely imbricate spiral. Corolla: tube slightly shorter to longer than lobes; lobes 4-6(-9), simple, sometimes fringed or papillose, usually erect. Stamens 4-6(-9), arising in lower or upper half of tube, rarely free; anthers usually extrorse or laterally dehiscent, included; staminodes, if present, usually as many as corolla lobes, small, +/- subulate or rarely petaloid. Disc present or absent. Ovary 1-6(-16)-locular, subglobose, densely pilose; placentation axile; style cylindric, slightly expanded towards apex, included or exserted. Fruit a subglobose to narrowly ellipsoid 1-several-seeded berry. Seed solitary, +/- ellipsoid; testa shining brown with conspicuous scar; endosperm present or absent; cotyledons fleshy.
Species +/- 200, Old and New World tropics, Africa +/- 5; sthn trop. Afr. 3, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique.
Biennial or perennial herbs or rarely small shrubs. Leaves alternate or sometimes predominantly basal, simple, variously dentate to subentire. Flowers irregular, in terminal, bracteate, racemes. Calyx 5-lobed; lobes equal to subequal, shorter than corolla tube. Corolla tubular, cylindrical or inflated-globose, usually constricted towards base; limb usually bilabiate with lips spreading or erect, upper lip shorter. Stamens 4. Capsule conical to ovoid, septicidal. Seeds small, many.
Species +/- 20, Europe, Mediterranean and Canary Islands; naturalised elsewhere in the world, as an escape from cultivation; sthn trop. Afr. 1: *Digitalis purpurea L. recorded from Zimbabwe and Malawi.
Dioecious, monoecious or polygamous shrubs or trees; bark grey, smooth. Leaves alternate, simple or pinnate; leaflets in 1-6 pairs, uppermost largest, lowermost much smaller, oblanceolate, elliptic to lanceolate, entire but sometimes undulate, glabrous except main veins underneath, main lateral veins in 4-14 pairs. Inflorescence terminal, axillary or cauliflorous, paniculate or thyrsoid with few spreading branches. Flowers regular. Sepals 3-5, +/- free. Petals 0 or 5. Stamens 4-8, well exserted. Ovary 2- or 3-lobed; ovules 1 per locule; style 2- or 3-locular and -lobed. Seeds without aril.
Species 8, Malesia, Sri Lanka, Madagascar and trop. Africa; sthn trop. Afr. 2, Angola, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique.
Small trees or shrubs; branchlets glabrous. Leaves paripinnate with winged rachis; leaflets up to 11-jugate, sessile, very narrowly oblong to oblong-elliptic, entire, glandular-punctate and shiny above, otherwise glabrous. Inflorescence a terminal or axillary paniculate thyrse. Flowers functionally male or female. Sepals 5, free almost to base, ciliolate, persistent. Petals 5, ovate, ciliolate. Disc lanate. Stamens 5, inserted between lobes of disc, sterile in female flowers. Ovary 2-locular; locules 1-ovulate; ovule pendent from apex of locule; pistillode present in male flowers. Fruit drupaceous, 1- or 2-locular, glabrous. Seeds 1 or 2, without arillode.
Species 3, Old World tropics; sthn trop. Afr. 1: Filicium decipiens (Wight & Arn.) Thwaites, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique.
Perennial herbs, sometimes shrubby, erect to scrambling, branched below, becoming tufted, pubescent. Leaves opposite, sessile, crenate or serrate, decreasing in size above. Flowers solitary, axillary, shortly pedicellate, ebracteolate. Calyx 4-lobed; lobes straight. Corolla subrotate, 5-lobed; limb weakly bilabiate but not separated into galea and lip. Stamens 4, didynamous; anther thecae 2, equal, parallel, mucronate. Style simple, filiform; stigma entire. Capsule ovoid. Seeds many, white, longitudinally winged.
Monotypic genus: Hedbergia abyssinica (Hochst. ex Benth.) Molau, trop. Africa; sthn trop. Afr.: Zambia, Malawi. Molau described this genus as distinct from Bartsia L. by reason of its 5-lobed, subrotate not markedly bilabiate and galeate corolla.
Perennial, aromatic (sometimes nauseatingly so), glabrous herbs. Leaves alternate, pinnately divided, spotted with glands. Sepals 4, lanceolate. Petals 4, in central flower 5, hooded, dark yellow, margin toothed or hairy. Stamens 8-10. Styles fused. Fruit a 4- or 5-celled capsule.
Recorded as occasional garden escapes, e.g. *Ruta chalepensis L. in Angola.