Trees or shrubs. Leaves 3-foliolate, usually minutely glandular beneath. Inflorescence (in ours) a raceme-like, branched or unbranched, thyrse. Flowers unisexual, usually male and female in the same inflorescence (female apparently bisexual but anthers sterile), small (sepals less than 2 mm, petals less than 1.5 mm). Sepals 4, the 2 outer larger. Petals 4, each with a hairy scale, greenish, white or yellowish. Stamens 8. Ovary 2-lobed, loculi 1-ovulate. Fruit a drupe, with 1(-3) cocci, ± spherical (in ours).
Allophylus species and species of Rhus both have 3-foliolate leaves and look superficially similar. See this note as to how to separate them.
Worldwide: c.150-200 spp. widespread in tropical and subtropical regions.
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