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The two species described here are almost hardy representatives of a mainly tropical and subtropical genus, which contains tall timber trees such as V. altissima of southern India and V. lignum-vitae of southeast Australia. Leaves deciduous or persistent, palmately compound, usually opposite. Flowers stalked, in cymose clusters, which are often arranged in the form of panicles. Calyx campanulate. Corolla tubular or funnel-shaped, with a five-lobed limb. Stamens four. Fruit a drupe, with a four-celled stone.

The two species treated here are propagated by cuttings of half-ripened wood. Flowering as they do on the wood of the current season they should be pruned in much the same way as the late-flowering buddleias, once a framework of branches has been formed.

Species articles