PLANTS: Shrubs or small trees. LEAVES: opposite or ternate. FLOWERS: densely aggregated into spherical pedunculate heads; calyx 4-toothed; corolla narrowly funnelform, slender, the limb 4-cleft; style filiform, much exserted, the stigma capitate; ovary and fruit obpyramidal. FRUIT: dry and hard, splitting from the base at maturity into 2-4 l-seeded achene-like portions. NOTES: Ca. 17 spp. warm and temperate portions of Asia, Amer., and s Afr. (Greek: kephale = head + anthos = flower). REFERENCES: Dempster, Lauramay T. 1995. Rubiaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Sci. 29(l): 29.
Fls 4-merous; hypanthium obovoid; cal short; cor slenderly funnelform, the short lobes imbricate in bud; filaments short; ovary bilocular, with 1-3 pendulous ovules per locule; style elongate, long-exsert; stigma capitate; fr eventually splitting from the base upward into indehiscent nutlets; shrubs or small trees with fls densely crowded into globose pedunculate heads. 6, widespread.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.