Shrubs or trees, evergreen or rarely deciduous, usually bisexual, rarely dioecious (Eurya) or androdioecious (Ternstroemia). Stipules absent. Leaves simple, alternate, petiolate or rarely sessile; leaf blade secondary veins pinnate, margin usually serrate or rarely entire. Flowers axillary or subterminal, solitary or sometimes to 3(-10 or more) in a cluster or raceme, pedicellate or subsessile. Bracteoles 2-8 or rarely more, persistent or caducous, sometimes undifferentiated from sepals. Sepals 5(or 6) or rarely more, persistent. Corolla white, red, or yellow; petals 5 or rarely more, basally connate or rarely distinct, adnate to androecium. Stamens numerous, in 1-6 whorls; outer filaments basally ± connate; anthers dorsifixed or basifixed, 2-loculed, laterally and longitudinally dehiscent. Gynoecium 3-5-carpellate. Carpels connate or rarely incompletely connate to nearly distinct. Ovary superior, rarely half inferior, 3-5-loculed, placentation axile or rarely nearly basal; ovules 2-5(to ca. 100) or more per locule; styles distinct to basally connate, rarely completely united. Fruit a loculicidal capsule or indehiscent and drupaceous or baccate, with 1 to many seeds per locule; pericarp woody, leathery, or fleshy; columella persistent or ± degenerating. Seeds globose, semiglobose, compressed oblong, ovoid, or reniform, winged or wingless; testa bony, leathery, or sometimes with a fleshy red outer layer or sarcotesta (in Anneslea and Ternstroemia), smooth or honeycombed; hilum umbilicate or linear; endosperm present or absent; embryo large or small; cotyledons fleshy or thin.
About 19 genera and 600 species: tropical and subtropical Africa, tropical America, E, S, and SE Asia, SE North America, Pacific islands; 12 genera (two endemic) and 274 species (204 endemic) in China.
The greatest species diversity of Theaceae is in S China and adjacent SE Asia.
The two subfamilies of Theaceae used here are sometimes treated as separate families (Theaceae and Ternstroemiaceae).
Chang Hungta & Ren Shanxiang. 1998. Theaceae (Theoideae). In: Chang Hungta, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 49(3): ii-xiii, 1-281; Ling Laikuan. 1998. Theaceae (Ternstroemioideae). Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 50(1): ii-vi, 1-213.
Adinandra angustifolia (S. H. Chun ex H. G. Ye) B. M. Bartholomew & T. L. Ming, comb. nov.
狭叶杨桐 xia ye yang tong
Basionym: Cleyera angustifolia S. H. Chun ex H. G. Ye, J. Trop. Subtrop. Bot. 9: 313. 2001.
Shrubs. Branchlets slender; terminal buds glabrous. Petiole 3–8 mm, glabrous; leaf blade narrowly lanceolate, 3.5–7.5 × 0.4–0.7 cm, both surfaces glabrous, midvein elevated on both surfaces, secondary veins 6–9 on each side of midvein, base narrowly cuneate, margin entire and revolute, apex acuminate and with a black mucro. Flowers solitary. Pedicel 2.4–2.7 cm; bracteoles 2, ovate, ca. 2 mm. Sepals ovate, 3–4 × 2–3 mm, margin ciliate, apex obtuse. Petals white, obovate-oblong, 9–19 × 5–7 mm, apex acute. Stamens ca. 25, in 3 whorls, 6–7 mm; filaments 4–5 mm; anthers ca. 2 mm, with filiform trichomes, apex mucronate. Ovary ovoid-globose, glabrous; style ca. 5.5 mm, simple, glabrous. Fruit and seeds unknown. Fl. Apr.
● Hainan (Jianfeng Ling).
The stamens in three whorls and a simple style place this species in Adinandra rather than in Cleyera. However, the seeds of the two genera are quite different and need to be examined when appropriate material becomes available.