The taxonomic position and rank of the only genus Sphenostemon has a chequered history. In the course of time it has, under various names, been attributed to the Aquifoliaceae (by BAILLON, as Sphenostemon, 1875), to the Icacinaceae (as a species of Phlebocalymna, by F. VON MUELLER, 1875), to the Guttiferae (as Nouhuysia, by LAUTERBACH, 1912), and to the Trimeniaceae (by GIBBS, as Idenburgia, 1917). BAILEY & SWAMY (1953) and BAILEY (1956) examined the anatomy and concluded that the genus could not belong to either Guttiferae or Trimeniaceae cq. Monimiaceae, but they gave no clear alternative. When I summarised the complete generic synonymy (1955), I found it likely to retain Sphenostemon in Aquifoliaceae.