Shrubs, small trees or subscandent woody plants. Leaves opposite or ternate, shortly petiolate; petioles compressed, channelled; blades acuminate or caudate, usually with acarodomatia; midnerve channelled; stipules interpetiolar, triangular or ovate, entire, acute. Flowers bisexual, mostly heterostylous, usually 5-merous, in axillary or terminal, sessile or pedunculate, trichotomously corymbose or subumbellate inflorescences, sometimes reduced to a few or even single flowers; peduncle with 1 or 2(4)-parted involucels situated at apex or middle; other bracts small or absent. Calyx: tube short, denticulate, dentate or lobed. Corolla salver-shaped, white, greenish, violet or lavender; tube short, funnel-shaped or cylindric, upper half densely hairy inside; lobes glabrous inside. Stamens with glabrous filaments and dorsifixed anthers, exserted in short-styled flowers. Disc cushion-shaped, papillate or shortly hairy. Ovary 2- or 3-locular at base, 4-6-locular at apex, with 2 or 3, sometimes lobed placentas affixed at middle of true septum, false septa incised and broadly cordate; ovules many; style glabrous, puberulous or hairy, included or exserted; stigmas 2, globose, mitriform or subcapitate, apex shortly 2-lobed, lobes cohering or rarely free and linear or lanceolate. Fruit a globose, yellow or red berry, 2-locular at base, 4-locular at top. Seeds many, yellow or yellow-brown, rarely red, ovoid; testa alveolate and sometimes irregularly ribbed; endosperm oily.
Species +/- 20-25, confined to trop. Africa and Madagascar; sthn trop. Afr. 4 or 5, Angola (Cabinda), Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique.
Urophyllum Wall. in part; Burtt Davy et al.: 90 (1958); Martins: 62 (1994).
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