A dicotyledonous (see dicotyledon) family of shrubs, trees, and climbers, whose simple, usually opposite leaves are glandular below or on the leaf stalk. The inflorescence is a raceme with regular or irregular flowers, usually bisexual. The 5 sepals and 5 petals are both overlapping. There are 10 stamens, the ovary is superior, 3 fused carpels, and the styles are distinct. The fruit is a schizocarp with winged segments, or a fleshy or woody drupe. The seeds contain no endosperm. The family is divided into 2 tribes, Pyramidotorae and Planitorae, and is thought to be an evolutionary ancestor of the Trigoniaceae and Tremandraceae. It is regarded as a primitive family within the Polygalale group. There are 68 genera, with about 1100 species, found mainly in S. America and other tropical regions throughout the world. A number of species are ornamentals.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.