Woody vines that climb by means of axillary tendrils, basal to the inflorescences. Leaves alternate, chartaceous or coriaceous, usually serrate; stipules small, persistent. Flowers bisexual or less frequently unisexual, actinomorphic, in axillary or terminal spikes, racemes, or panicles; calyx conical to campanulate, with 5 lobes; petals 5, greenish yellow or whitish, unguiculate, concave; stamens 5, as long as the petals, usually hooded by the petal, the filaments adnate to the margin of the disc; disc crateriform; ovary subinferior, trilocular, the locules uniovulate, the stigmas 3, reflexed. Fruit a schizocarp, trilocular, three-winged, septicidal, that separates into 3 indehiscent mericarps; seeds obovate. A pantropical genus of about 50 species.
Gouania is a genus of flowering plants in the buckthorn family, Rhamnaceae. The 50 to 70 species it contains are native to tropical and subtropical regions of the world, including Africa, Madagascar, the Indian Ocean islands, southern Asia, the Americas and Hawaii. They are shrubs or lianas. A revision of the species in Madagascar and the other western Indian Ocean islands is in preparation, where the genus has an important centre of diversity. The work will recognise several new species.
- Gouania corylifolia Raddi (Brazil)
- Gouania hillebrandii Oliv. ex Hillebr. (Hawaii)
- Gouania leptostachya DC. (South Asia, Southeast Asia)
- Gouania longispicata (Central Africa)
- Gouania lupuloides (L.) Urb. – Chewstick or Toothbrush Tree (Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, northern South America)
- Gouania meyenii Steud. – Smoothfruit Chewstick (Hawaii)
- Gouania napalensis Wall. (India, Nepal)
- Gouania polygama (Jacq.) Urb. (Mexico, Central and South America)
- Gouania vitifolia A.Gray – Oʻahu Chewstick (Hawaii)
- "Genus: Gouania Jacq.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2004-02-10. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/genus.pl?5114. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
- "Gouania". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=28537. Retrieved 2010-03-08.
- "GRIN Species Records of Gouania". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/splist.pl?5114. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
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