- Leaves alternate, spiraled, usually crenate.
- Tiny triangular stipules that dry in place.
- Green layer in bark.
- Small, white, 4-5-parted flowers with fused corolla.
- Fruit a few-seeded berry with persistent dome-shaped style.
Diagnosis: Trees or hemi-epiphytes, small persistent free stipules, leaves alternate, spiraled, usually crenate, rarely almost entire, some with minute pits below, inner bark of trunk with a thin green layer.
Local distribution: Widespread.
|Symplocaceae||: midvein sunken above, without green layer in bark, no stipules.
|Theaceae||: leaves distichous, lacking green layer in bark, no stipules.
Diversity: Total: 1 genus, 9 species. Trees and large hemi-epiphytes: 1 genus, 9 species.
Comments: Several species are somewhat plastic in growth form and can appear as either hemi-epiphytes or free-standing trees. The trees often have numerous sucker stems around the base of the trunk and often the main trunk dies and decomposes, leaving a ring of suckers.