A genus of five species of evergreen climbers native of China and the Himalaya named after F. L. Holboell, once superintendent of the Botanic Garden at Copenhagen.
As in many other members of the family, the apparent petals are really sepals, the true petals being reduced to nectaries. In the male flowers there are six stamens and a rudimentary ovary. The female flowers have small non-functional stamens (staminodes) and three carpels, each developing into a fleshy ‘pod’. The stamens are free from each other and the sepals fleshy, whereas in the related genus Stauntonia (q.v.) the stamens are united and the sepals thin.
From the Supplement (Vol. V)
Stauntonuia, to which Holboellia is closely allied, has seven years’ priority over it. Some species are intermediate in the characters used to diffentiate the two genera.