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Shrubs or trees, monoecious, evergreen, glabrous or pubescent. Leaves simple, alternate or distichous, symmetrical or asymmetrical, equilateral base, entire, penninerved, short petiolate; stipulate.  Inflorescences axillary pedunculate, fasciculate, unisexual or bisexual, few to many-flowered. Male flowers: pedicellate, sepals 3 + (2-) 3, free, imbricate; petals and disc absent; stamens 3-8, sessile.  Female flowers: sessile; calyx with 3 + (2-) 3 free sepals, campanulate, 3-6 irregular lobes; petals and disc absent; ovary 3-15-locular, each locule biovulate; styles as many as locules, globose, turbinate.  Fruits capsular, seated on non-accrescent calyx and crowned by style column, depressed subglobose, 3-15-locular, unlobed or shallowly to deeply lobed, crustaceous or coriaceous. Seeds 3-15, trigonous or hemispherical, laterally compressed, with red arillate coat.

Key to the species

Serial Key Reference
1a. Branches and undersurface of leaves pubescent 2
1b. Branches and undersurface of leaves glabrous 3
2a. Inflorescences supra-axillary and pedunculate. Male pedicels 10-20 mm long G. oblatum
2b. Inlorescences axillary and sessile. Leaves pubescent at least on midrib beneath G. heyneanum
3a. Inflorescences supra axillary and pedunculate 4
3b. Inflorescences axillary and sessile 5
4a. Fruits 7-11 mm in diam., unlobed or obscurely lobed G. zeylanicum
4b. Fruits 15-30 mm in diam., prominantly lobed G. lanceolarium
5a. Fruits unlobed G. ellipticum
5b. Fruits lobed 6
6a. Tertiary nerves of leaves prominently perpendicular to midrib G. multiloculare
6b. Tertiary nearves of leaves not as above G. sphaerogynum