The genus Callisthene is found in the Extra Amazonian part of the Brazilian mainland, particularly in the zone of the campos and in the adjacent parts of Bolivia. The genus comprises eight species, as defined in this paper. It shows its greatest diversity on the central plateau of the Brazilian state of Minas Geraes. Most of the species are typical trees of the campos of the interior Brazilian plateau, which is characterized by a climate with a severe dry season. The genus was first described by MARTIUS in 1824. He mentioned all important characters and placed it in the Vochysiaceae, a family which had been described only four years earlier by A. DE ST. HILAIRE (1820). It was named after Callisthenes (360—327 B.C.), the Greek naturalist and historian of Alexander the Great, relative and pupil of Aristotle. MARTIUS (l.c.) described 3 species, WARMING (1875 in the “Flora Brasiliensis”) 7, while BRIQUET (1919) added several others, only one of which — in the opinion of the present author — can stand after careful studies of the complete type material.