Click on the above link(s) to continue
Some monoecious or dioecious bushes or trees sometimes with spines are members of this family. The leaves are simple, usually alternate, helically arranged and bear either an entire or a crenate margin. Stipules may be present but these are small and mostly deciduous. The cymose inflorescence is subterminal but is generally axilliary and very rarely do solitary flowers exist.
The flowers are hermaphroditic, polygamous or unisexual of small size with articulate pedicels subtended by small imbricate bracts. The pieces of the perianth are more or less equal and inserted spirally (Erythrospermum) or in a cyclic manner and well differentiated into sepals and petals. The calyx is dialysepalous or gamosepalous rarely with 4-5 imbricate sepals. Petals may be 3-8 in numbers or totally absent. There are 4 or more stamens, which are either hypogyne or perigyne and these are free. The anthers are bilocular. Staminoidia may be present in the female flowers or in the hermaphroditic ones.
The ovary is superior, sessile, and unilocular with 3-8 parietal placentas. The style is simple and very rarely short. The fruit is either a drupe or a capsule that dehisces rather late during growth. The grains vary from solitary to numerous, bear arils and have abundant albumen.
This is a tropical family of about 85 genera and 1300 species. In Mauritius there are 7 endemic species of this family of which only Homalium integrifolium is found in Mondrain.
These are trees or bushes. The leaves are alternate, persistent and petiolate. The lamina has glandulous to dentate margins, but these can be crenate as well. The stipules are small, fleshy, dehiscent or more or less persistent. The flowers are hermaphrodite and pedicels are short, with a basal bract and 2 bracteoles forming a cone-like structure. There are 4-8 (-15) sepals and the number of petals is equal to that of the sepals. The stamens also are present in the same number as the sepals. The ovary has 2-6 placentas. There are 2-5 filiform styles mostly fused at the base, and the stigmas are punctiform.
The capsule is semi-inferior and may be surrounded by an acrescent perianth that can open at the top by 2 to 6 and even 8 valves. The grains are small, irregular, hairy with a testa and fleshy albumen.
Of the more than 180 species
that form this genus, only H.integrifolium is endemic to Mauritius.