Family description

Shrubs to trees without resin.
Leaves mostly alternate, usually crowded near twig tips, simple, with smooth to toothed margins, often with domatia on lower surface. Petiole usually thickened at base and tip. Stipules present.
Inflorescences usually racemes.
Flowers radially symmetric, usually bisexual, 5-merous, sepals free, valvate, petals free (except some Sloanea) and often fimbriate, stamens many, disk present, ovary superior, 2-5(-7) locular, style 1.
Fruits oily drupes, but the central stone containing several seeds, each in its own cavity.

General info

Distribution Mostly southern hemisphere, with most species in Asia and Australia. Nine genera with ca. 500 species.
Ecology Mostly shrubs to small trees in closed forests and gaps.
Uses Edible fruits, timber and some ornamental trees.
Similar to Malvaceae (former Tiliaceae and Sterculiaceae) but these differ in anther connection (not basal), stellate hairs. Irvingia (Simaroubaceae) which differs in having stipules leaving a circular scar. Some Euphorbiaceae, like Baccaurea, but these differ by absence of toothed leaf margins.

Treated genera

  • Elaeocarpus
  • Sloanea


Elaeocarpus hainanensis