The Rapanea genus of trees and shrubs, even some climbers, consists of about 100 species. Many occur in tropical regions of the globe. They have alternate, simple leaves and small flowers in axillary clusters. The sepals and petals are often marked with lines and dots. The stamens are sessile, without filaments. Rapanea forms part of the Myrsinaceae family. Only a few species of Rapanea occur in South Africa (Coates Palgrave, 1977).