One of the most distinctive plant families in the southern hemisphere, comprising trees and shrubs in which the leaves are entire or divided, spiral, without stipules, leathery, and commonly xeromorphic. The flowers are usually held in showy, dense inflorescences. They are usually hermaphrodite and zygomorphic, with 4 tepals (often becoming recurved), 4 scales, 4 stamens (often epipetalous), and a superior, unilocular ovary, with 1 to many ovules. The fruits are various. There are 75 genera, comprising about 1350 species, occuring in the southern hemisphere, and developed strongly in S. Africa and Australia.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.