Spermatophyta: Dicotyledonae: Metachlamydeae: Gentianales

Rubiaceae - Coffee family

Bridson, D.M. (1998) Rubiaceae, Part 2 Flora Zambesiaca 5(2)

Bridson, D.M. & Verdcourt, B. (2003) Rubiaceae, Part 3 Flora Zambesiaca 5(3)

Verdcourt, B. (1988) Rubiaceae, Part 1 Flora Zambesiaca 5(1)

Description of the family

Trees, shrubs, annual or perennial herbs or climbers. Leaves simple, opposite or in whorls, entire. Stipules present, usually interpetiolar, less often intrapetiolar, entire or (in some herbaceous genera) with lobes or fimbriae. In the species of tribe Rubieae (the genera Galium, Rubia and Sherardia in Zimbabwe) the distinction between leaves and stipules breaks down and there are whorls of similar leaf-like objects. Flowers usually bisexual, rarely unisexual (e.g. in some species of Anthospermum, Catunaregam and Canthium), actinomorphic. Calyx gamosepalous, (3-)4-5(-8)-lobed. Corolla gamopetalous, often with a long tube, (3-)4-5(-11)-lobed. Ovary inferior, of 2-5 or more carpels, usually 2. Fruit a capsule, berry or drupe.

Comment: A usually readily recognisable family, even in the vegetative state, from the combination of opposite (or whorled) entire leaves and interpetiolar stipules.

Worldwide: 630 genera and 10,200 species, cosmopolitan, but mainly tropical and warm areas.

Malawi: 77 genera and 271 taxa.

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Links to genera:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this family

Afrocanthium (Bridson) Lantz & B. Bremer Image
Agathisanthemum KlotzschDescription, Image
Aidia Lour.Description, Image
Amphiasma Bremek.Description, Image
Anthospermum L.Description
Breonadia RidsdaleDescription
Bullockia (Bridson) Razafim., Lantz & B. Bremer Image
Burttdavya HoyleDescription
Calycosiphonia Pierre ex Robbr.Description
Canthium Lam.Description
Carphalea Juss.Description
Catunaregam WolfDescription, Image
Cephalanthus L.Description
Chassalia Comm. ex Poir.Description
Chazaliella E.M.A. Petit & Verdc.Description, Image
Coffea L.Description, Image
Coptosperma Hook. f.Description, Image
Cordylostigma Groeninckx & DesseinDescription, Image
Craterispermum Benth.Description
Cremaspora Benth.Description
Crossopteryx FenzlDescription, Image
Cuviera DC.Description
Empogona Hook. f.Image
Fadogia Schweinf.Description, Image
Fadogiella RobynsDescription
Feretia DelileDescription, Image
Galiniera DelileDescription
Galium L.Description
Galopina Thunb.Description
Gardenia J. EllisDescription, Image
Geophila D. DonDescription
Hallea LeroyDescription
Hedythyrsus Bremek.Description
Heinsenia K. Schum.Description, Image
Heinsia DC.Description, Image
Hymenodictyon Wall.Description
Ixora L.Description, Image
Keetia E. PhillipsDescription
Kohautia Cham. & Schltdl.Description, Image
Lasianthus JackDescription
Lelya Bremek.Description, Image
Leptactina Hook. f.Description
Manostachya Bremek.Description
Mitracarpus Zucc. ex Schult. & Schult.f.Description, Image
Morinda L.Description
Multidentia GilliDescription
Mussaenda L.Description
Oldenlandia L.Description
Otiophora Zucc.Description
Otomeria Benth.Description, Image
Oxyanthus DC.Description, Image
Paederia L.Description
Paraknoxia Bremek.Description
Pauridiantha Hook. f.Description
Pavetta L.Description, Image
Pentanisia Harv.Description
Pentas Benth.Description, Image
Pentodon Hochst.Description
Phellocalyx BridsonDescription
Polysphaeria Hook. f.Description, Image
Psychotria L.Description, Image
Psydrax Gaertn.Description
Pygmaeothamnus RobynsDescription
Pyrostria Juss.Description
Richardia L.Description, Image
Rothmannia Thunb.Description, Image
Rubia L.Description, Image
Rutidea DC.Description
Rytigynia BlumeDescription, Image
Sabicea Aubl.Description
Sericanthe Robbr.Description
Spermacoce L.Description
Tarenna Gaertn.Description
Triainolepis Hook. f.Description
Tricalysia A. Rich. ex DC.Description, Image
Vangueria Comm. ex Juss.Description
Vangueriopsis RobynsDescription

Other sources of information about Rubiaceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Rubiaceae
Flora of Caprivi: Rubiaceae
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Rubiaceae
Flora of Mozambique: Rubiaceae
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Rubiaceae
Flora of Zambia: Rubiaceae
Flora of Zambia: cultivated Rubiaceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Rubiaceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Rubiaceae

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Rubiaceae
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Rubiaceae
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Rubiaceae
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Rubiaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Rubiaceae
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Rubiaceae
JSTOR Plant Science: Rubiaceae
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Rubiaceae
Wikipedia: Rubiaceae
Plants of the World Online: Rubiaceae
Tropicos: Rubiaceae

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Family page: Rubiaceae.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/family.php?family_id=198, retrieved 24 April 2024

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