PLANTS: Trees, shrubs, or perennial herbs, photosynthetic but often root-parasitic, usually terrestrial but rarely occurring on branches of other plants. LEAVES: opposite or sometimes alternate, simple, entire, estipulate, well developed or sometimes reduced to scales. FLOWERS: small actinomorphic usually epigynous but sometimes hypogynous, perigynous or half-epigynous, perfect or unisexual, often greenish; perianth of 1 whorl forming a (3-)4-5(..,8)-lobed tube, often fleshy; stamens fused to perianth tube, as many as the lobes and opposite them; anthers opening by longitudinal slits or sometimes a single apical pore; lobed nectary-disk often surrounding the ovary, or lining the perianth tube; ovary unilocular or partitioned at the base, of (2-)3(-5) united carpels; placenta free-central; style simple, terminal; stigma capitate or lobed; ovules 1-4 pendulous. FRUIT: a nut or drupe. SEED: solitary; endosperm copious, fleshy, oily, or starchy. NOTES: 35 genera, 400 spp., mostly tropical and subtropical. REFERENCES: Laferriere, Joseph E. 1994. Santalaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 27(2), 240.
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