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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Clusiaceae

[= Guttiferae]

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Order: Malpighiales

Twenty-seven genera and about 1050 species (tropical) with one genus (Garcinia) and four species native to southern Africa. An additional genus and four species are cultivated in the region.

Genera native to southern Africa

Information from Bredenkamp (2000). Hypericum was previously placed in the Clusiaceae but is now in the Hypericaceae.


About 200 species (cosmopolitan to tropics, main diversity in Asia) with four species native to southern Africa and a further species that is cultivated in the region. The fruit of many species is edible, including the well-known Purple mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana). A yellow dye termed gamboge is obtained from the resin of a number of species, including Garcinia xanthochymus, which has been cultivated in southern Africa.  

Other genera, cultivated in southern Africa

Information from Glen (2002).


About 145 species worldwide (warm regions of America). Three species are cultivated in southern Africa including the Balsam apple Clusia rosea.



  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated plants of southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.

  • Bredenkamp, C.L. 2000. Clusiaceae (Guttiferae). In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 227. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.