A family of herbs, shrubs, trees, and woody climbers, mostly with opposite leaves, and with flowers that are variously arranged, but are always irregular and hermaphrodite, with superior ovaries. The calyx and corolla are often 2-lipped, and the petals are joined into a tube below. The ovary has a terminal style, and is usually 4-celled. The fruit is usually a drupe, sometimes a capsule, or rarely consists of 4 nutlets. The family contains many useful plants, e.g. Tectona grandis (teak), valuable for its timber in south-eastern Asia. Species of Verbena and Clerodendrum are grown for their attractive flowers. Avicennia is a mangrove of coastal swamps. Modern classifications recognize some 91 genera and 1900 species. Most are tropical and subtropical, but some extend into temperate zones.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.