Trees or shrubs. Stipules 0. Leaves (in ours) alternate, simple (Turraea) or compound. Flowers bisexual or unisexual, but well-developed sterile vestiges of the non-functional sex may be present, actinomorphic, mostly 4-5-merous. Sepals 4-6, connate to ± free. Petals usually 4-5, free. Disk present. Stamens (5-)8-10(-20), usually partly or completely fused to form a staminal tube and usually bearing appendages. Ovary superior, (2-)4-5(-20)-locular. Style 1. Fruit a capsule or drupe. Seeds usually with an aril, winged or with a corky or woody outer covering.
Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats Specimen Records:1501 Specimens with Sequences:1880 Specimens with Barcodes:1365 Species:348 Species With Barcodes:326 Public Records:828 Public Species:252 Public BINs:0
They are characterised by alternate, usually pinnate leaves without stipules, and by syncarpous, apparently bisexual (but actually mostly cryptically unisexual) flowersborne in panicles, cymes, spikes, or clusters. Most species are evergreen, but some are deciduous, either in the dry season or in winter.
The family includes about 50 genera and 550 species, with a pantropical distribution; one genus (Toona) extends north into temperate China and south into southeast Australia, and another (Melia) nearly as far north.
Fruits of Chisocheton paniculatus in Pakke Tiger Reserve