home   about   search

biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Olacaceae

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 > Order: Santalales

Fourteen genera and about 103 species, distributed mainly in the tropics, with two genera and four species native to southern Africa.

Genera native to southern Africa


About 40 species, native to Africa, Madagascar, tropical Asia to Australia. There are 10 species in Africa of which two, Olax dissitiflora (see Flora of Zimbabwe) and Olax obtusifolia (recorded from Zimbabwe, see Flora of Zimbabwe), is native to southern Africa.



Of the eight species, two are native to eastern tropical and southern Africa and the remainder in America. This genus is sometimes included in a separate family Ximeniaceae, but evidence supporting this division is lacking (Angiosperm Phylogeny Website, Version 12). 



  • Jordaan, M. 2000. Olacaceae. In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 427-428. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.