Flower heads of Sarcocephalus latifolius, photographed by Scamperdale.

Belongs within: Cinchonoideae.

The Naucleeae are a pantropical clade in the plant family Rubiaceae, though the greater part of their diversity are found in Africa and Asia with only a few Neotropical species. Razafimandimbision & Bremer (2001) diagnosed Naucleeae on the basis of their globose spherical heads and floral nectaries embedded in the hypanthia, as well as supporting the clade by molecular analysis. Members include the genus Cephalanthus, a pantropical group of shrubs and small trees that differ from other members of the clade in having ovules solitary in each cell and arillate seeds (Razafimandimbison & Bremer 2001).

Characters (from Razafimandimbison & Bremer 2001): Trees, shrubs, rarely lianas. Raphides absent. Terminal vegetative buds conical, flattened or pyramidal. Leaves mostly opposite, rarely whorled; stipules interpetiolar, rarely intrapetiolar, caducous, rarely persistent, entire. Inflorescences terminal, lateral, or both lateral and terminal, congested into spherical heads. Flowers 4-5(-6)-merous; corolla aestivation imbricate or valvate; floral nectaries present, inconspicuous, embedded in hypanthia and ovaries. Stamens with filaments shorter than anthers; anthers mostly basifixed, rarely medifixed. Ovary bilocular, placentas attached to base, one third, middle, upper third, or apex of septa, with one to numerous predominantly imbricately pendulous, or ascendent ovules in each locule. Fruits mostly free, sometimes fused into multiple, succulent fruits; capsular fruits dehiscing loculicidally, septicidally, or both, mostly from base, rarely from top. Seeds winged or not; exotestal cells with thickenings along inner tangential wall. Secondary pollen presentation present, with pollen deposited on immature stigmatic lobes. Pollen tricolporate.

<==Naucleeae [Naucleaceae, Naucleoideae]
    |--Cephalanthus [Cephalantheae] RB01
    |    |--C. glabratus RB01
    |    |--C. natalensis RB01
    |    |--C. occidentalis RB01
    |    |    |--C. o. var. occidentalis H93
    |    |    `--C. o. var. californicus H93
    |    `--C. pusillus JD05
    `--+--+--Uncaria RB01
       |  |    |--U. gambir P88
       |  |    |--U. guianensis RB01
       |  |    |--U. phillipinensis RB01
       |  |    `--U. rhynchophylla RB01
       |  `--+--Pausinystalia johimbe RB01
       |     `--Corynanthe RB01
       |          |--C. mayumbensis RB01
       |          `--C. pachyceras RB01
       |--+--Hallea RB01
       |  |    |--H. rubrostipulata RB01 [=Mitragyna rubrostipulata BJ99]
       |  |    `--H. stipulosa RB01
       |  `--Mitragyna RB01
       |       |--M. ciliata S00
       |       |--M. diversifolia RB01
       |       |--M. inermis RB01
       |       |--M. parvifolia P03
       |       |--M. rotundifolia RB01
       |       `--M. speciosa RB01
       `--+--+--Neolamarckia [Neolamarckiinae] RB01
          |  |    `--N. cadamba RB01
          |  `--Naucleinae RB01
          |       |  i. s.: Ochreinauclea maingayi RB01
          |       |--Burttdavya nyassica RB01
          |       `--+--Sarcocephalus [Sarcocephaleae, Sarcocephalinae] RB01
          |          |    |--S. coadunata C78
          |          |    |--S. latifolius RB01
          |          |    `--S. pobeguinii RB01
          |          `--Nauclea RB01
          |               |  i. s.: N. latifolia FGN07
          |               |--+--N. diderrichii RB01
          |               |  `--N. xanthoxylon RB01
          |               `--+--N. orientalis RB01
          |                  `--N. subdita RB01
          `--Adininae RB01
               |  i. s.: Sinoadina RB01
               |         Diyaminauclea RB01
               |         Khasiaclunea RB01
               |         Ludekia borneensis RB01
               |--+--Adina RB01
               |  |    |--A. cordifolia J07
               |  |    `--A. rubella RB01
               |  `--+--+--Adinauclea fagifolia RB01
               |     |  `--Haldina cordifolia RB01
               |     `--+--Pertusadina eurhynca RB01
               |        `--+--Metadina trichotoma RB01
               |           `--Neonauclea RB01
               |                |  i. s.: N. calycina K03
               |                |         N. forsteri HSS13
               |                |         N. gigantea FJ99
               |                |--N. longipedunculata RB01
               |                `--+--N. clemensii RB01
               |                   `--Myrmeconauclea strigosa RB01
               `--+--Breonadia salicina RB01
                  `--+--+--Janotia macrostipula RB01
                     |  `--Gyrostipula RB01
                     |       |--G. comoriensis RB01
                     |       `--G. foveolata RB01
                     `--+--Neobreonia decaryana RB01
                        `--Breonia RB01
                             |  i. s.: B. capuronii RB01
                             |         B. decaryana RB01
                             |         B. fragifera RB01
                             |         B. sphaerantha RB01
                             |         B. stipulata RB01
                             |         B. taolagnaroensis RB01
                             |--B. macrocarpa RB01
                             `--+--B. chinensis RB01
                                `--B. havilandiana RB01

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BJ99] Bremer, B., R. K. Jansen, B. Oxelman, M. Backlund, H. Lantz & K.-J. Kim. 1999. More characters or more taxa for a robust phylogeny—case study from the coffee family (Rubiaceae). Systematic Biology 48 (3): 413–435.

[C78] Clunie, N. M. U. 1978. The vegetation. In: Womersley, J. S. (ed.) Handbooks of the Flora of Papua New Guinea vol. 1 pp. 1–11. Melbourne University Press: Carlton South (Australia).

[FJ99] Fiala, B., A. Jakob, U. Maschwitz & K. E. Linsenmair. 1999. Diversity, evolutionary specialization and geographic distribution of a mutualistic ant-plant complex: Macaranga and Crematogaster in South East Asia. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 66: 305–331.

[FGN07] Fontaine, B., O. Gargominy & E. Neubert. 2007. Land snail diversity of the savanna/forest mosaic in Lopé National Park, Gabon. Malacologia 49 (2): 313–338.

[H93] Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press: Berkeley (California).

[HSS13] Hirschfeld, E., A. Swash & R. Still. 2013. The World's Rarest Birds. Princeton University Press: Princeton (New Jersey).

[J07] Jadhav, D. 2007. Ethno-medicinal plants used by Bhil tribe of Matrunda, district Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh, India. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49: 203–206.

[JD05] Junge, F. W., M. Dolezych, H. Walther, T. Böttger, A. Kühl, L. Kunzmann, P. Morgenstern, T. Steinberg & R. Stange. 2005. Ein Fenster in Landschaft und Vegetation vor 37 Millionen Jahren: Lithologische, sedimentgeochemische und paläobotanische Befunde aus einem Paläoflusssystem des Weißelsterbeckens. Mauritiana 19 (2): 185–273.

[K03] Kulip, J. 2003. An ethnobotanical survey of medicinal and other useful plants of Muruts in Sabah, Malaysia. Telopea 10 (1): 81–98.

[P03] Paul, T. K. 2003. Botanical observations on the Purulia pumped storage hydropower project area, Bagmundi Hills, Purulia district, West Bengal. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 45: 121–142.

[P88] Polunin, I. 1988. Plants and Flowers of Malaysia. Times Editions: Singapore.

[RB01] Razafimandimbison, S. G., & B. Bremer. 2001. Tribal delimitation of Naucleeae (Cinchonoideae, Rubiaceae): inference from molecular and morphological data. Systematics and Geography of Plants 71: 515–538.

[S00] Siddiqi, M. R. 2000. Tylenchida: Parasites of plants and insects 2nd ed. CABI Publishing: Wallingford (UK).

Last updated: 4 January 2019.


  1. pramoe from Indonesia,
    can i have your email? i need some help to identify plant from my place..i though this plant from Rubiacea family

  2. name is Pramu, from Indonesia
    if u dont mind, i need some help to identify about plant in my curios that, this plant is from Rubiaceae..neonauclea..
    thank you very much..
    please email me at can send u the picture


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