ClethraceaeClethra family

  - Leaves simple, alternate, serrate or crenate, with short petioles, spiraled.
  - Without stipules.
  - Coarse simple hairs, some stellate hairs usually also present.
  - Simpodial growth pattern.
  - Small white flowers in elongate spikes with 5 free petals, 10 yellow forked stamens.
  - Fruit a 3-lobed capsule with minute winged seeds.

Diagnosis: Trees of secondary forest and gaps, without stipules, leaves simple, alternate, spiraled, usually serrate, often bunched at twig tips, petioles short (to 2 cm), often with coarse pubescence including both simple and stellate hairs, often with the leaf base folded under, secondary veins usually straight and parallel.

Similar families
Actinidiaceae: petioles longer, with mucilage, margin with alternating teeth of two sizes, no stellate hairs.
Betulaceae: with stipules, nearly glabrous.

Diversity: Total: 1 genus, 3 species. Trees: Total: 1 genus, 3 species.

Credits: Images and text copyright 2000-2007, William A. Haber,