FZ volume:7 part:2 (1985) Apocynaceae by A. J. M. Leeuwenberg and F. K. Kupicha et al.
A family of c. 180 genera and about 1700 species, mainly in the tropics.
Trees, shrubs, lianas, or sometimes herbs, mostly with white sticky latex. Leaves opposite, whorled, or less often alternate, simple, pinnately veined, entire. Stipules usually absent. Flowers bisexual, mostly actinomorphic, 5- or rarely 4-merous. Calyx often with colleters inside. Corolla tubular, sometimes with a corona; lobes contorted or occasionally (not in F.Z. area) valvate. Stamens inserted on the corolla; filaments free from each other or exceptionally (not in F.Z. area) united in a tube, often very short, frequently continued downwards as ridges at the corolla inside; anthers frequently triangular, connivent over and often coherent with the stigma, 2-celled, often partly sterile, sometimes with apical appendages; cells parallel, discrete, dehiscent throughout by a longitudinal slit. Pollen granular. Ovary superior or sometimes partly inferior, 1-celled and with 2 parietal placentas, 2-celled and with an axile placenta in each cell, or composed of 2, rarely more, separate or at the base partly united carpels each with an adaxial placenta; ovules 2 to many; style one, often split at the base when carpels more or less separate; stigma composed of a large variously shaped part, usually called the clavuncula, with laterally and/or basally the receptive zone, which is — if stigma coherent with the anthers — below the level of coherence, and a small apical usually sterile (also in F.Z.) so-called stigma. Disk annular, cupular, composed of separate glands, or absent. Fruit entire or consisting of two, rarely more, separate or partly united carpels, baccate, drupaceous, or follicular. Seeds in dry fruits often winged or with a coma, mostly with endosperm and a large embryo.
Species of several genera are reputed for their medicinal properties (e.g. Hunteria, Pleiocarpa, Voacanga, Tabernaemontana, Carvalhoa, Schizozygia, Catharanthus, Holarrhena, Rauvolfia, Strophanthus and Funtumia).