One of the biggest families of flowering plants, comprising trees, shrubs, and a few herbs, in which the leaves are simple, opposite, and usually have interpetiolar stipules. The flowers are hermaphrodite and tetra- or pentamerous, the corolla tubular, the stamens epipetalous, and the ovary inferior. Various species are the source of quinine, coffee, and many ornamentals. There are about 637 genera, and 10 700 species, with a cosmopolitan distribution, but strongly centred in the tropics.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.