Habit and leaf form. Trees, or shrubs. Leaves cauline. Stem internodes branchlets swollen at nodes. Helophytic, or mesophytic (rainforest, monsoon forest and margins of fresh water streams and swamps). Leaves opposite; decussate; leathery; petiolate; simple. Leaf blades entire; elliptic, or oblong, or obovate; pinnately veined; cuneate at the base. Leaves with stipules (interpetiolar). Stipules interpetiolar (sheathing the terminal bud); with colleters (secreting mucilage), or without colleters; caducous (leaves an annular scar). Leaf blade margins entire. Leaf anatomy. Hairs absent. Extra-floral nectaries absent. Stem anatomy. Secondary thickening developing from a conventional cambial ring. Roots. Aerial roots present (sometimes with stilt roots, occasionally buttressed), or absent.
Reproductive type, pollination. Fertile flowers hermaphrodite. Unisexual flowers absent. Plants hermaphrodite. Plants not viviparous.
Inflorescence and flower features. Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’; in cymes (dichasial, usually trichotomous). The terminal inflorescence unit cymose, or racemose. Inflorescences axillary; inflorescence pedunculate. Flowers pedicellate (short), or sessile; ebracteate; bracteolate (2 or 3 partially united in a cup); regular; usually 4 merous, or 5 merous. Free hypanthium present; campanulate to globose; adnate to ovary, adnate at base and campanulate above the ovary. Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 6–32; 2 -whorled; isomerous. Calyx present; 5–9; 1 -whorled; gamosepalous; blunt-lobed, or toothed; valvate; campanulate; regular; commonly fleshy (or leathery); persistent. Calyx lobes triangular (to deltoid). Corolla present; 5–8; 1 -whorled; alternating with the calyx; polypetalous; contorted (or infolded); commonly fleshy. Petals orbicular; clawed. Corolla members jagged or toothed. Fertile stamens present, or absent (rarely — when flowers female, and then there are epipetalous staminodes). Androecial members definite in number. Androecium 10–16. Androecial members free of the perianth (generally inserted on the outer edge of the perigynous or epigynous disk); markedly unequal (of 2 lengths, the shorter opposite the petals); free of one another; generally 1 -whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens. Stamens 10–16; all more or less similar in shape; diplostemonous (often paired opposite the petals), or triplostemonous, or polystemonous; filantherous, or with sessile anthers. Anthers dorsifixed; dehiscing via longitudinal slits (AKB), or dehiscing by longitudinal valves (longitudinal valve); introrse; bilocular (KCB), or four locular (A); tetrasporangiate. Fertile gynoecium present, or absent (rarely, when flowers male). Gynoecium 2–5(–6) carpelled. The pistil 5–8 celled. Carpels reduced in number relative to the perianth, or isomerous with the perianth. Gynoecium syncarpous; eu-syncarpous; inferior. Ovary plurilocular; 5–8 locular. Gynoecium when G2, median. Epigynous disk present, or absent. Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1; apical. Stigmas 1. Placentation usually axile to apical. Ovules 2 per locule; pendulous; epitropous; with ventral raphe; arillate, or non-arillate; hemianatropous, or anatropous.
Fruit and seed features. Fruit fleshy (pulpy); indehiscent; a capsule (rarely), or a berry, or a drupe; 1 celled; 1 seeded (usually). Seeds copiously endospermic. Endosperm oily (and fleshy). Embryo well differentiated. Cotyledons 2. Embryo straight. Micropyle zigzag.
Special features. Non-mangrove species.
Geography, cytology, number of species. World distribution: pantropical and subtropical, concentrated in the Old World. 120 species.
Economic uses, etc. Some yield wood used for underwater construction and piling, and tannins are obtained from the bark.
Etymology. From Caralli, name of C. lucida in Telugu.
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Western Australian Herbarium (1998–). FloraBase—the Western Australian Flora. Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/