Rubiaceae is a family of flowering plants, commonly known as the
coffee, madder, or bedstraw family. It consists of terrestrial trees,
shrubs, lianas, or herbs
The family contains about 13,000 species in 611 genera, which
makes it the fourth-largest angiosperm family. Rubiaceae has a
A wide variety of growth forms are present: shrubs are
most common, but members of the family can also be
trees, lianas or herbs. Some epiphytes are also present
The leaves are simple, undivided and entire; leaf blades
are usually elliptic, with a cuneate base and an acute tip.
The phyllotaxis is usually decussate; rarely whorled (e.g. Fadogia); or
rarely alternate resulting from the suppression of one leaf at each
node (e.g. Sabicea sthenula).
Characteristic for Rubiaceae is the presence of stipules that are
mostly fused to an interpetiolar structure on either side of the stem
between the opposite leaves.
Herbaceous’, or leathery; petiolate to sessile; connate (often, via the
stipules), or not connate; gland-dotted, or not gland-dotted; simple;
Lamina entire; one-veined, or pinnately veined; cross-venulate.
Leaves stipulate. Stipules interpetiolar (usually), or intrapetiolar;
with colleters (typically).
Lamina margins entire, or serrate.
Inflorescence; Flowers aggregated in ‘inflorescences’, or solitary
(less often); in cymes, or in panicles, or in verticils, or in heads
(rarely, e.g. Morindeae, Gardenieae).
The ultimate inflorescence units cymose.
Flowers small, or medium-sized; regular; mostly 4 merous, or 5
merous; cyclic; tetra cyclic, actinomorphic, epigynous, regular,
complete, bisexual, di and heterochlamedious.
Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla;
Calyx when detectable 4, or 5; 1 whorled; polysepalous or
gamosepalous ,when gamosepalous, entire, or lobulate, or blunt-
lobed, or toothed; regular (mostly), or bilabiate (rarely), persistent,
or not persistent; valvate aestivation.
Epicalyx present (e.g. Fernelia, Flagenium), or absent.
Corolla (3–)4, or 5, or 8–10; 1 whorled; gamopetalous; imbricate,
or valvate, or contorted; tubular, regular, or bilabiate (rarely).
Androecium 4, or 5. adnate (to the corolla tube, or attached at
its very base in Coprosma); free of one another.
1 whorled. Androecium exclusively of fertile stamens.
Stamens 4, or 5; inserted near the base of the corolla tube, or midway
down the corolla tube, or in the throat of the corolla tube; isomerous
with the perianth; alternating with the corolla members.
Anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits, introrse;
Gynoecium 2(–9) carpelled.
Carpels usually reduced in number relative to the perianth.
The pistil 1 celled (rarely), or 2(–9) celled.
Gynoecium syncarpous; inferior (,Ovary 2(–9) locular.
Gynoecium when bilocular (i.e. usually), transverse.
Epigynous disk often present.
Gynoecium stylate. Styles 1 Stigmas wet type, or dry type