(Barbados cherry) plants are trees and shrubs, characterized by simple, oppositely arranged leaves, often with stipules and glands at the base of the leaf stalk. Flowers are radially symmetric, most commonly with five petals, which are clawed (narrow at the base), and fringed. Flowers usually have ten stamens and a compound pistil of three styles.
32 species in 11 genera occur in the US, all with limited distribution. Malpighiaceae species are found in just four states: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Florida.