Unarmed, single-stemmed shrubs. Leaves alternate, simple, petiolate, narrowly obovate, cuneate at base, long-acuminate at apex, dentate to denticulate, glabrous; stipules linear-acuminate, glabrous. Inflorescences epiphyllous, usually in 1-flowered cymes in 2-6 groups per leaf on petiole or on midrib in lower 3/4 of lamina. Flowers bisexual; pedicel pubescent, +/- as long as flower; bracts narrowly ovate. Sepals 5, imbricate, very narrowly ovate to linear-ovate, pubescent, persistent. Petals 5, imbricate, narrowly ovate to linear-ovate, pubescent, persistent. Stamens 5; filaments very short, glabrous; anthers lanceolate, glabrous or glabrescent. Ovary 1-locular, with 3 multi-ovulate parietal placentas, tomentose; style simple, truncate, persistent in fruit. Fruit an ovoid capsule, pubescent to glabrescent, surrounded by perianth.
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.
Glabrous or hairy shrubs or small trees with supra-axillary branches. Leaves usually thinly coriaceous with a characteristic divaricate venation, usually oblong-elliptic to lanceolate, less often more rounded; stipules triangular, acuminate or aristate with raised midline. Flowers sessile or rarely pedicellate, usually small in sessile or pedunculate bracteate clusters; bracts and bracteoles forming a complicated pattern of primary bracts; secondary bracts often supporting triads of flowers, and bracteoles often several per flower usually joined to form a cup at base of calyx. Calyx: tube campanulate or turbinate; tube of limb cup- or bowl-shaped, obconic or sometimes tubular, occasionally covering corolla in bud, truncate or 4- or 5-toothed, persistent. Corolla: tube narrowly funnel-shaped or cylindric, densely hairy at throat; lobes 4 or 5, strictly contorted, overlapping to the left (as seen in bud), ovate to oblong, acuminate, spreading. Stamens 4 or 5, inserted in corolla tube, filaments very short; anthers linear, fixed at back near base, included or partly exserted, sometimes minutely apiculate. Disc small but evident, fleshy. Ovary 2-locular; ovule solitary in each locule, pendulous; style filiform, exserted, usually shortly pubescent or hairy, with filiform or rarely +/- ellipsoid undivided or slightly to distinctly bifid stigma. Fruits pea-like with rather tough epicarp, 1- or 2-locular, 1- or 2-seeded. Seeds subglobose to plano-convex with striate-sulcate testa and very ruminate endosperm.
Lianes, straggling shrubs or sometimes scarcely woody climbers, usually +/- hairy. Leaves opposite, petiolate; stipules entire or emarginate, often comparatively large, mostly with conspicuous colleters within. Flowers sometimes showing limited heterostyly, small or medium-sized, in sessile or pedunculate, several- to many-flowered paniculate or capitate axillary inflorescences, or in a few cases plant cauliflorous; bracts often conspicuous, sometimes forming an involucre. Calyx: tube ellipsoid-oblong or ovoid; tubular part of limb sometimes cylindric and elongated; lobes often well-developed. Corolla usually +/- white; tube mostly narrowly cylindric; lobes small, valvate. Stamens with very short filaments or +/- sessile; anthers +/- medifixed, narrowly oblong, arising towards base of tube in long-styled flowers and near throat in shorter-styled flowers but only tips exserted, if at all. Ovary 4- or 5-locular, with elliptic placentas usually externally covered with ovules; style slender, glabrous, divided into 5 long narrow astigmatic lobes, or style with 5 arms terminating in slightly thicker stigmatic lobes. Fruits globose, many-seeded, fleshy berries. Seeds irregularly ovoid, compressed, mostly angular, finely reticulate or striate.
Species 120, tropical America, trop. Africa and Madagascar; sthn trop. Afr. +/- 6, Angola, Zambia.
Scandent shrubs, often with hairy stems. Leaves paired, petiolate; domatia absent or present as hairy tufts in axils of lateral and sometimes tertiary nerves beneath; bacterial nodules absent; stipules with 3-15 fimbriae or with a single lobe. Flowers bisexual, 4- or 5(6)-merous, sessile or pedicellate in pyramidal to racemiform or hemispherical to flat-topped panicles, terminal on the main or short lateral branches, sessile to pedunculate (the presence of rudimentary leaves frequently renders this character ambiguous); bracts and bracteoles present, either conspicuous and exceeding calyx or inconspicuous. Calyx: tube ovoid to campanulate; limb tube usually short, slightly wider than tube, bearing 4 or 5(6) ovate, subulate, filiform to linear or triangular lobes. Corolla white or cream, usually small, salver-shaped; tube cylindrical to funnel-shaped, glabrous to sparsely pubescent inside; lobes 4 or 5(6), contorted in bud, spreading or reflexed. Stamens arising in mouth of tube, exserted, or at least partly so; filaments short; anthers attached near base or occasionally near middle, usually shortly apiculate. Disc fleshy, glabrous. Ovary 2(3)-locular (or incompletely so); ovules solitary, inserted on a small fleshy placenta ascending from base of ovary; style slender, greatly or less often scarcely exceeding corolla tube, glabrous or nearly so or less often densely pubescent just above base; stigma +/- exserted, fusiform, clavate or broadly elliptic to globose, entire or rarely 2- or 3-lobed. Fruit 1-locular, frequently orange to red, drupaceous, spherical, somewhat fleshy with a chartaceous endocarp; calyx limb persistent or less often deciduous. Seed 1, globose, filling the cell, hilum basal, irregular; testa thin, reticulate; albumen horny, deeply ruminate; embryo curved.
Species 20, trop. Africa and Madagascar; sthn trop. Afr. 7, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique.
Tall trees with decussate branching. Leaves petiolate, obovate or elliptic, cuneate or rounded, acuminate, glabrous, with 8-11 pairs of prominent secondary nerves on each side of midrib and hairy to glabrous domatia; stipules interpetiolar, caducous, in vernation interlocking with each other or enclosing one another. Inflorescence thyrsic, axillary; stipules at base caducous. Flowers (4)5(6)-merous. Calyx: tube short, inside densely hairy; lobes triangular to rounded, sometimes with 1 or 2 colleters in sinuses. Corolla glabrous outside; tube with a short, basal, cylindric portion and a campanulate-inflated upper portion longer than basal portion, hairy inside; lobes with valvate aestivation, cowl-shaped, hairy inside, each with a very long, filiform apical appendage. Stamens: anthers included, sessile, sagittate, medifixed, with acuminate apex, dehiscing longitudinally, arising +/- in middle of campanulate portion of tube. Disc indistinct. Ovary 2-locular; placenta pendulous, arising at top of septum, covered with many upwardly imbricate ovules; style shorter than corolla tube; stigma 2-lobed. Fruit an ellipsoid septicidal capsule with tips of valves slightly loculicidal. Seeds winged, very narrowly elliptic in outline, with apical portion narrowly triangular, and basal part deeply divided into 2 long very narrowly triangular wings; central endosperm-bearing portion ellipsoid, ?-1/4 as long as entire seed; embryo surrounded by endosperm.
Species 5, tropical W Africa; sthn trop. Afr. 1: Pausinystalia macroceras (K.Schum.) Pierre, Angola.
Erect or sometimes probably scrambling shrubs or subshrubs. Leaves opposite , petiolate, lanceolate to ovate; stipules triangular or bifid. Flowers bisexual, +/- sessile, heterostylous, fairly large, in several- to many-flowered cymose terminal inflorescences; 1-several peripheral flowers often have 1 calyx lobe enlarged into a petaloid, coloured, stipitate lamina. Calyx: tube elongate, +/- oblong; lobes 5, +/- subulate. Corolla: tube narrowly cylindric, upper part containing anthers somewhat swollen; lobes (4)5, ovate, induplicate-valvate, usually drawn out into a filiform appendage very evident in the buds which have (4)5 apical subulate projections; throat velvety hairy. Stamens included in swollen part of tube. Ovary 2-locular, each locule with many ovules borne on the marginal portions of very narrowly oblong curved placentas which resemble lamellae; style +/- 3/4 as long as corolla tube in short-styled flowers; stigmas just exserted in long-styled flowers; stigma bilobed, with lobes linear or ovoid. Fruit dry, mostly capsular, with rather incomplete loculicidal dehiscence or sometimes not dehiscent; calyx lobes soon caducous. Seeds small, reticulate.
Species 5, trop. Africa; sthn trop. Afr. 3, Angola, Mozambique.
Shrubs or small trees. Leaves opposite, petiolate, papery to subcoriaceous; domatia usually present, hairy; stipules shortly sheathing, with a truncate to triangular limb usually bearing a linear to subulate lobe, often caducous. Flowers bisexual, (4)5-merous, terminal or axillary or both terminal and axillary, solitary or paired, sessile to shortly pedicellate; bracts and bracteoles absent or glumaceous; flower sometimes subtended by young leaves above bracteoles. Calyx: tube ovate to campanulate; limb subequalling the disc, 5-lobed or irregularly toothed, and margin beset with colleters. Corolla white; tube cylindric but widened at apex, equalling to over twice as long as lobes, glabrous or sparsely pubescent outside; lobes contorted in bud, spreading. Stamens: anthers set at mouth of corolla, sessile, linear, shortly apiculate at apex, scarcely hastate at base, usually attached above to well above the middle, with apical part exserted or sometimes entirely included, occasionally tending to adhere towards base. Disc annular. Ovary 2-locular; placentas small, attached to middle or somewhat above middle of septum; style cylindric, slender, glabrous, usually much shorter than corolla tube; stigma included, bifid; arms linear to narrowly oblong, sometimes not separating. Fruit a drupe, ellipsoid or broader than long and distinctly 2-lobed, containing 2, 1-seeded cartilaginous pyrenes; calyx lobes greatly or not at all accrescent. Seed oblong-ellipsoid, grooved on inner face; endosperm pale in colour, horny, asymmetrically folded from groove, embryo somewhat curved; testa thin, smooth at low magnifications.
Species +/- 20, Old World, E to Australia; sthn trop. Afr. 2, Angola.