Trees, erect or scandent shrubs, or climbers, very rarely epiphytic shrubs; usually with acrid, often turpentine smelling sap becoming black when exposed to the air. Buttresses sometimes present. Stipules absent. Leaves often crowded at the (thickened) end of twigs, spiral or alternate (only opposite or decussate in Bouea), sometimes subverticillate; simple, uni- or tri-foliolate, imparipinnate, rarely paripinnate (Euroschinus) (bipinnate in extra-Mal. Spondias sp.); margin entire (rarely crenate-dentate in Rhus spp.); petioled (petiole often thickened at the basal part), rarely subsessile or sessile. Inflorescences terminal and/or axillary, rarely cauliflorous, paniculiform (panicles or thyrses), sometimes racemose or spiciform, rarely flowers solitary; bracts and bracteoles usually caducous, sometimes persistent; pedicels distinct, obscure, or 0, often articulated. Flowers regular, bisexual, or unisexual by abortion (plants monoecious, dioecious, or polygamous). Hypanthium sometimes present (Melanochyla). Floral axis (between calyx and stamens) often obscure, sometimes distinct and elongated ( Gluta & Swintonia). Calyx 5- or 4- (rarely 3-)lobed (or perianth bract-like, in Pistacia), sometimes calyptriform (Gluta), caducous or persistent, rarely accrescent ( Parishia). Petals 5 or 4, or 0 (in Pistacia), free, sometimes the basal part longitudinally adnate to the floral axis, imbricate or valvate, rarely contorted, caducous or persistent, sometimes accrescent (Swintonia & Gluta spp.). Stamens equal or twice the number of calyx lobes or petals, rarely more or ~ (Gluta spp.), inserted on the margin of disk, or just outside or inside of this margin, or on an enlarged torus (Gluta); all (sometimes 1 or more) fertile in ♂ or bisexual flowers, imperfect or sterile, rarely rudimentary, or wanting (Pistacia) in ♀ flowers; filaments subulate or filiform, free or infrequently basally connate, glabrous, sometimes hairy or papillate; anthers dorsi- or basifixed, or dorsobasifixed, longitudinally dehiscent, seemingly 2-celled (with 4 pollen sacs) at anthesis, usually introrse; connective rarely prolonged, dilated and apically 2-lobed (Androtium). Torus prominent (Gluta). Disk usually present and distinct (rarely obscure or none), persistent (caducous in Androtium & Buchanania), often fleshy, sometimes thin; round, flat or concave above, pulvinate, rim-like, short-cupular, or consisting of 5 gland-like lobes (Swintonia), rarely stipiform (Mangifera spp.), often slightly crenulate or notched, rarely lobed. Ovary free, or the basal part connate with disk or receptacle, superior, sometimes partly or wholly immersed in disk or receptacle and seemingly semi-inferior or inferior (Pegia, Melanochyla & Semecarpus spp.), rarely really inferior (Drimycarpus & extra-Ma1. Holigarna), usually sessile, sometimes stiped (Gluta); 1-carpellate and 1-celled, or syncarpous and 2-5(-12)-celled (if 1-celled there are 3 styles), apocarpous (4-6-carpellate in Buchanania & Androtium), or carpels incompletely connate (5-carpellate in Dracontomelon & Koordersiodendron), usually 1 carpel fertile; styles 1—5(—12), distinct or obscure, terminal or excentric; stigmas 1—5(—12), distinct or obscure; rudimentary pistil small, obscure, or absent in ♂. Ovule 1 in each carpel or cell, pendulous, apotropous. Fruits drupaceous, sometimes subtended by enlarged calyx lobes (Parishia) or petals (Swintonia & Gluta spp.), or an enlarged fleshy hypocarp (pedicel, receptacle; in Anacardium & Semecarpus), 1-5(-12)-celled, 1—5(—12)- seeded; exocarp thin; mesocarp usually fleshy and resinous, sometimes waxy or oily; endocarp or stone fibrous, crustaceous, woody, or almost bony. Seed exalbuminous or with scanty endosperm, rarely labyrinthine ( Mangifera spp.); testa membranous or chartaceous, sometimes adherent to the endocarp; raphe or chalazal vascular bundles sparsely or profusely branched, often distinctly shown on the testa; embryo straight or curved; cotyledons free, rarely partly or incompletely united ( Gluta spp.), plano-convex, rarely unequal (fig. 71), radicle short. Distribution. About 70 genera with c. 600 spp., distributed chiefly throughout the tropics and subtropics. Malesia is the richest major tropical area for this family, with more genera represented than in any other area; even though Rhus is not richly represented in species.