Family composed of 17 genera, with tree and shrub species (mostly in savannahs) and lianas (mostly in forests), distributed in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide. In North Africa, it is represented by 4 genera.

Terminalia L. is composed by about 54 species of trees typical of tropical regions, in Africa only S of the Sahara. In Mauritania, in the extreme S, only one species has been cited, T. avicennioides Guill & Perr. Also, T. brownii Fresen, that reaches Sudan to the N. Of wider distribution across the Sahel, but too southern for this project, is T. macroptera Guill. & Perr.

Guiera Adans. ex Juss., a monotypic genus, also from sub-Saharan Africa, that, in the southern boundary of this project’s area presents the species G. senegalensis J.F. Gmel., an evergreen shrub typical of the drier regions of the interior, from Senegal to Sudan. It is characterised by having numerous black glands scattered among its leaves and branchlets.

The other 2 genera, Combretum and Anogeissus are more common in the Sahel, reaching in the N up to the central Sahara.

Maurin, O., Chase M.W., Jordaan, M., & Van der Bank, M. 2010. Phylogenetic relationships of Combretaceae inferred from nuclear and plastid DNA sequence data: implications for generic classification. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 162: 453-476.

Key to genera

1 Flowers with petals 2

1 Flowers without petals 3

2 Fruit with 4-5 winged angles, from glabrous to pubescent Combretum

2 Fruit narrowly cylindrical, not winged, densely covered in long silky hairs Guiera

3 Flowers grouped in terminal heads Anogeissus

3 Flowers arranged in spikes or racemes Terminalia

Updated by: J. Charco.