Trees or shrubs, deciduous, sometimes spiny. Leaves alternate, simple, estipulate, bases often oblique. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic, often bracteate, in axillary cymes. Calyx lobes 4-10, toothlike or obsolete. Petals as many as calyx lobes, valvate, linear to lorate, sometimes basally coherent. Stamens as many as petals or 2-4 × as many, distinct, arising from an enlarged disk; anthers 2-celled, dehiscing longitudinally. Ovary inferior, commonly 1- or rarely 2-loculed; ovule solitary, pendulous; style and stigma simple, or 2- or 3-lobed. Fruit a drupe, crowned with persistent calyx and disk. Seeds 1 or 2, with straight embryo and copious endosperm.
One genus and ca. 21 species: tropical and subtropical regions from Africa east to Australia and Fiji; 11 species (four endemic) in China.
Alangiaceae are treated here as separate from the Cornaceae, into which they have sometimes been placed. See the discussion under Cornaceae in Fl. China (14: 206. 2005).
Fang Wen-pei, Soong Tze-pu & Su He-yi. 1983. Alangiaceae. In: Fang Wen-pei & Chang Che-yung, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 52(2): 160-179.