Shrubs or trees. Youngest branchlets compressed, older branches terete; base of the lateral twigs often provided with small distichous ‘bracts’ (ramenta) sometimes also occurring between the leaves. Leaves simple, alternate (distichous), entire, involute in bud, the margins leaving a more or less permanent trace as 2 longitudinal lines on the upper leaf surface (‘areolate’). Stipules mostly entirely connate, rarely bifid, intrapetiolar, often bicarinate, sometimes emarginate or 2-toothed at the apex, long-persistent or early caducous, inserted ± semi-amplexicaulous and leaving a distinct, mostly oblique scar. Flowers axillary, solitary or in clusters, often dimorphous, or even 3—4-morphous, 5-merous, actinomorphic, bisexual. Pedicels more or less thickened, often only under the calyx, provided with 2 bracteoles at the base. Calyx persistent, campanulate, (in Mal.) ± halfway divided into 5 lobes imbricate in bud. Petals 5, free, caducous, alternating with the calyx lobes, quincuncial in bud, nearly always provided with an emarginate or 3-lobed ligule inserted on the apex of the claw of the petal. Stamens 10, in two whorls of 5, persistent; filaments towards the base connate into a staminal tube often with a toothed margin; anthers ellipsoid, basifixed, cordate at the base, 2-celled, opening lengthwise, latrorse. Ovary (1—)3-celled, each cell with 1 ovule, normally only 1 cell fertile, but the other empty cells sometimes distinctly enlarged in fruit; styles 3, erect, free or partly connate or stigmas ± sessile; stigmas flattened (often oblique) or (in extra-Mal. spp.) clavate, blunt or rarely acute. Ovules pendulous, anatropous, with a ventral raphe. Fruit a drupe. Seed with or without endosperm; embryo oblong, erect; cotyledons flat to plano-convex; no plumule, but a distinct radicle. Distr. The Erythroxylaceae comprise three exclusively tropical genera. Aneulophus BENTH. is monotypic and restricted to West Africa. Nectaropetalum BENTH. (Peglera BOLUS) has a few species in SE. Africa (cf. STAPF, Kew Bull. 1909, 188).