Herbs, shrubs, and trees.
Tap root system.
Herbaceous to woody, erect or twining cylindrical with or without spines, branched and solid.
Opposite (decussate) or whorled, stipulate, stipules inter-petiolar or intra-petiolar, occassionally foliaceous as in Galium, simple, shape variable margin entire or incised, unicostate reticulate venation.
A dichasial or panicled cyme, terminal cyme in some species of Mussaenda, axillary in coffea. The dichasial cyme may be condensed into globose heads as in Anthocephalus and Adina, occasionally terminal trichotomously branched corymbose cyme as in Ixora. Sub-umbellate cyme in Hamiltonia.
Pedicellate or sub-sessile, bracteate, sometimes bracteoles also present, hermaphrodite (rarely unisexual), actinomorphic (rarely zygomorphic as in Henriquezia), epigynous, complete, incomplete when the flower is unisexual, tetra or penatamerous.
Sepals 4 or 5, gamosepalous, occassionally one sepal enlarges in size and becomes very conspicuous and attractive (Mussaenda), sepals may be prominent in the fruit as in Nematostylis or after fertilization as in Albertia.
Petals 4 or 5, gamopetalous, tubular or funnel shaped, aestivation may be valvate, twisted or imbricate (bilabiate corolla in Henriquezia).
4 or 5 stamens, epipetalous, filaments long, sometimes united, heterostylly in Oldenlandia.
Bicarpellary, syncarpous, inferior ovary (rarely superior as in Pogamea), bilocular (unilocular in Gardenia where placentation is parietal), axile placentation, style one, stigma bilobed or simple.
Capsule in Anotis, berry in Mussaenda and Coffea, somewhat schizocarpic in Galium.
Pollination: By insects.
Coffea arabica and C. liberica are the evergreen coffee plants. The fruit is a drupe and seed after roasting and grinding yield the coffea of commerce Cinchona officinalis is widely cultivated on account of the important alkaloids like quinine and cinchonidina. Which are medicinally very important.
Mussaenda glabrata is an ornamental shrub, cultivated in the gardens for its beautiful flowers. Here one sepal becomes enlarged and attractive. Hamelia patens is another ornamental garden shrub. Systemic Position: Angiospermae Dicotyledons Gamopetalae Inferae Rubiales Rubiaceae.