Skip to main content


Theaceae A family of tropical and subtropical trees and shrubs, and some scrambling climbers, in which the leaves are alternate, often evergreen, and leathery, without stipules. The flowers are regular, often solitary, showy, and usually bisexual. There are 4–7 sepals and petals and numerous stamens which are either free, in bundles, or in a tube. The ovary is generally superior, with 3–5 fused carpels with separate locules and free styles. The fruit is a capsule, berry, or achene, with a persistent calyx. The seeds have little endosperm. The family is often split into 8 or more smaller families, separated by the characteristics of the reproductive system. Many species are ornamentals, including the well-known Camellia japonica, but the best-known and economically most valuable member of the family is C. sinensis, the tea plant. This species has been cultivated for many centuries and contains caffeine, polyphenols, and essential oils. There are 28 genera, with about 520 species, most of which are restricted to tropical and subtropical regions, centred in Asia and America.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Theaceae." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . 18 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Theaceae." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . (March 18, 2019).

"Theaceae." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Retrieved March 18, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.