Shrubs or trees, glabrous or hairy. Leaves persistent or deciduous, alternate [spiral or distichous], simple; stipules absent; petiole present; blade coriaceous or chartaceous, margins toothed [entire], teeth deciduously gland-tipped. Inflorescences axillary, flowers solitary [2-3], bracteate. Flowers bisexual; perianth and androecium hypogynous; sepals [4-]5[-14], distinct or connate proximally, concave, relatively thick; petals 5(-8)[-14], distinct or connate proximally; nectary disc absent; stamens (50-)75-125(-150), in 1-5 bundles or not bundled, connate proximally or distinct, usually adnate to petals or corolla; anthers versatile [basifixed], 4-locular, dehiscent by longitudinal slits; pistils 1, [3-](4-)5(-6)[-10]-carpellate; ovary superior, [3-]5[-10]-locular; placentation primarily (falsely; H. Keng 1952) axile; ovules anatropous (campylotropous), bitegmic, tenuinucellate; styles 1 or 5[-6], simple [branched]; stigmas 1-5[-7], usually lobed. Fruits capsular, woody, dehiscence loculicidal and septicidal, [rarely irregular or fruits drupaceous]. Seeds 2-20, reddish brown to dark brown, compressed or lenticular [angular], sometimes winged, (testa vascularized, ± lignified); embryo straight, rarely curved; endosperm nuclear, usually slight.
Shrubs or trees, evergreen or rarely deciduous, usually bisexual, rarely dioecious (Eurya) or androdioecious (Ternstroemia). Stipules absent. Leaves simple, alternate, petiolate or rarely sessile; leaf blade secondary veins pinnate, margin usually serrate or rarely entire. Flowers axillary or subterminal, solitary or sometimes to 3(-10 or more) in a cluster or raceme, pedicellate or subsessile. Bracteoles 2-8 or rarely more, persistent or caducous, sometimes undifferentiated from sepals. Sepals 5(or 6) or rarely more, persistent. Corolla white, red, or yellow; petals 5 or rarely more, basally connate or rarely distinct, adnate to androecium. Stamens numerous, in 1-6 whorls; outer filaments basally ± connate; anthers dorsifixed or basifixed, 2-loculed, laterally and longitudinally dehiscent. Gynoecium 3-5-carpellate. Carpels connate or rarely incompletely connate to nearly distinct. Ovary superior, rarely half inferior, 3-5-loculed, placentation axile or rarely nearly basal; ovules 2-5(to ca. 100) or more per locule; styles distinct to basally connate, rarely completely united. Fruit a loculicidal capsule or indehiscent and drupaceous or baccate, with 1 to many seeds per locule; pericarp woody, leathery, or fleshy; columella persistent or ± degenerating. Seeds globose, semiglobose, compressed oblong, ovoid, or reniform, winged or wingless; testa bony, leathery, or sometimes with a fleshy red outer layer or sarcotesta (in Anneslea and Ternstroemia), smooth or honeycombed; hilum umbilicate or linear; endosperm present or absent; embryo large or small; cotyledons fleshy or thin.
Trees or shrubs, usually evergreen
Petals 5(–10), free or slightly joined, imbricate or contorted, spreading except in Melchiora
Sepals 5(–7), free or slightly joined, imbricate
Flowers unisexual or hermaphrodite, regular, usually solitary, rarely paniculate, racemose or cymose, frequently large and showy
Ovary superior, 1–5-locular ; ovules 1-many in each locule, axile ; styles free or connate
Leaves alternate or spirally arranged, exstipulate, often toothed
Stamens usually numerous, in several whorls, hypogynous, free, shortly connate or epipetalous
Seeds 1–? endosperm abundant, scanty or absent; embryo straight or curved, sometimes folded or spirally twisted
Flowers axillary, solitary or sometimes paired or in fascicles, rarely cymose or in elongated racemes, actinomorphic, bisexual or rarely unisexual, often with one or more pairs of bracteoles below the calyx
Leaves alternate or spiral, simple, usually coriaceous, exstipulate
Petals usually 5, imbricate, hypogynous, free or shortly connate
Sepals usually 5, imbricate, free or shortly connate
Fruit a loculicidal capsule (often leaving a persistent central column) or a dry or rarely fleshy berry or drupe, indehiscent or rarely irregularly dehiscent at the apex
Ovary superior (rarely apparently semi-inferior), syncarpous, sessile, (1) 2–5 (7)-locular; styles free or united; ovules 2 or more (rarely 1) in each loculus, axile, sometimes pendulous
Stamens ? or rarely definite, hypogynous, free or fasciculate or connate at the base to form a tube, sometimes adnate to the base of the petals; anthers versatile or basifixed, often with an apiculate connective-prolongation, dehiscing longitudinally or rarely at first by apical pores; disk absent
SELECTED REFERENCES Airy Shaw, H. K. 1936. Notes on the genus Schima and on the classification of the Theaceae-Camellioideae. Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1936: 496-500. Keng, H. 1952. Comparative morphological studies in Theaceae. Univ. Calif. Publ. Bot. 33: 269-384. Kobuski, C. E. 1951. Studies in the Theaceae, XXI. The species of Theaceae indigenous to the United States. J. Arnold Arbor. 32: 123-138. Prince, L. M. 2007. A brief nomenclatural review of genera and tribes in Theaceae. Aliso 24: 105-121. Prince, L. M. and C. R. Parks. 2001. Phylogenetic relationships of Theaceae inferred from chloroplast DNA data. Amer. J. Bot. 88: 2309-2320. Stevens, P. F. et al. 2004b. Theaceae. In: K. Kubitzki et al., eds. 1990+. The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants. 9+ vols. Berlin etc. Vol. 6, pp. 463-471. Tsou, C. H. 1997. Embryology of the Theaceae--Anther and ovule development of Camellia, Franklinia, and Schima. Amer. J. Bot. 84: 369-381. Tsou, C. H. 1998. Early floral development of Camellioideae (Theaceae). Amer. J. Bot. 85: 1531-1547. Wood, C. E. Jr. 1959b. The genera of Theaceae of the southeastern United States. J. Arnold Arbor. 40: 413-419.