Shrubs or trees, all parts bearing spherical resin cavities; stolons absent. Stems ascending, glabrous. Leaves persistent, cauline, alternate; stipules absent; petiole present; blade not fleshy, leathery, margins entire (except in seedling leaves, which are distally serrate). Inflorescences axillary, 2-flowered or flowers solitary; bracts absent. Pedicels present; bracteoles absent. Flowers bisexual; sepals 5, calyx radially symmetric, funnelform, lobes broadly ovate; petals 5, corolla buff or coppery brown to greenish tan, bilaterally symmetric, tubular, abaxial lobes 3, strongly recurved and bearing a conspicuous longitudinal crest of violet hairs, adaxial 2; stamens 4, adnate to corolla, didynamous, filaments sparsely hairy, staminode 0; ovary 2-locular, placentation axile; stigma minutely 2-fid. Fruits drupelike capsules, ovoid, fleshy, indehiscent. Seeds 1–4, brown, L-shaped and terete, wings absent. x = 18.
Fla., West Indies, South America.
Bontia is monospecific and the only genus of Myoporeae (the former Myoporaceae) native to the Americas. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that it was derived from within the Australian genus Eremophila R. Brown and achieved its current distribution via long-distance dispersal (S. A. Kelchner et al. 2001).