Genus Afzelia

Author: J.E.Smith

Morphological description (Afzelia rhomboides compl FM3 )
Trees . Stipules interpetiolarly connate at base.

Leaves paripinnate. Leaflets chartaceous, shortly petiolulate, petiolule often turned or twisted.

Inflorescences terminal or axillary, racemose, often fasciculate or paniculate; bracts and bracteoles small, often caducous.

Flowers bisexual, zygomorphic, pedicelled. Hypanthium cupular, narrowly infundibuliform or cylindric, puberulous outside, glabrous inside. Calyx lobes 4, imbricate, puberulous on both surfaces. Petals only one fully developed, large, flabellate, lower half narrowed into a claw, the others small or absent. Disk absent. Stamens 9, usually (5–)7 fertile, almost equal, the others reduced; anthers dorsifixed. Ovary stipitate (stipe adnate to the hypanthium), 3–8(or more)-ovuled; style slender, almost as long as the stamens; stigma small, round.

Pods oblong, obliquely oblong, or slightly rhomboid, compressed, black when ripe, glabrous, 2-valved, valves thick, woody, often 3 (or more)-seeded.

Seeds ellipsoid, ovoid-oblong or broadly ellipsoid, smooth, exalbuminous; aril yellow, orange, or red, often 2-lobed, covering the seed for up to half or more of its length.

About 12 species, in tropical Africa, Asia and S China; two species in Malesia: Afzelia javanica and Afzelia rhomboidea .

In forest at low and medium altitudes, 0–400(–1400) m.

The timber of Afzelia species is highly valued. See Phengklai et al. in Soerianegara & Lemmens (eds.), Pl. Res. SE Asia (PROSEA Handb.) 5 (1), Major commercial timbers (1993) 69.

Tetrad pollen, occurring sporadically in the family, was also reported for two (non-Malesian) species of Afzelia (Ferguson & Banks, Rev. Palaeobot. Palyn. 83 (1994) 31–42.).