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.
Aningeria Aubrev. & Pellegr.: 795 (1935); Hemsley: 26 (1968); Kupicha: 218 (1983); Coates Palgrave: 874 (2002). Malacantha Pierre; Greves: 73 (1929); Hemsley: 24 (1968); Kupicha: 220 (1983). Sersalisia R.Br.; Greves: 72 (1927).
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