pronounced: roo-bee-AY-see-eye

the gardenia family


Rubia is the Latin word for the madder, derived from rubeus, reddish. This is a very large family, occurring generally as trees and shrubs in tropical regions, and more often as herbs in temperate regions, and it includes some lianas. In the tropics, many members, such as coffee and quinine, have economic importance, or, such as Ixora and Gardenia, are grown as ornamentals. Some are grown for medicinal use (ipecacuanha) or for dye. Members of the family mostly have simple and usually entire leaves opposite or in whorls, stipules, and flowers with inferior ovaries. There are usually 4 or 4 unjoined sepals, and 4 or 5 joined petals, often in panicles, and 4 or 5 stamens. Fruits may be capsules, berries, drupes or schizocarps.