Herbs or woody plants with opposite entire leaves connected by interposed stipules or in whorls without apparent stipules. Flowers perfect or imperfect, mostly 4-, sometimes 3- or 5-merous. Calyx sometimes obsolete. Corolla regular, the stamens as many as the corolla-lobes and inserted on the tube. Ovary in ours 2- loculed, splitting when dry into 2 or 4 indehiscent 1-seeded carpels; styles 1 0r 2. Embryo in fleshy or horny endosperm.
A large family, mostly tropical, many of great economic importance (Coffee, Cinchona), others ornamental (Gardenia, Bouvardia). (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 761).
Quinine, coffee and gardenias are all in this family. There are three genera in California. (Dale 174).