Malvaceae subfam. Bombacoideae
Outlines Bot., 816, 818, 1094, 1119. 1835
Shrubs or trees. Leaf blades lobed [digitate], ultimate margins serrate or entire. Inflorescences leaf-opposed [axillary, terminal], solitary flowers [cymose or paniculate]. Flowers bisexual; epicalyx present [absent], 3-lobed; sepals persistent or late-caducous, 5, connate 1/2 length, petaloid, nectaries usually at base; petals absent [present, basally connate]; androgynophore absent; stamens 5[–1500], basally connate into tube; anthers 1-thecate; staminodes absent; gynoecium syncarpous. Fruits capsules, rarely indehiscent. Seeds 8–15[–many], glabrous or hairy.
sw United States, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, Asia, Africa, Indian Ocean Islands, Pacific Islands, Australia, especially New World Tropics.
The phylogenetic placement of Fremontodendron has long challenged botanists (W. M. Kelman 1991); it has been affiliated with Sterculiaceae/ioideae (J. Hutchinson 1964–1967), Malvoideae (W. S. Alverson et al. 1999), and Bombacoideae (C. Bayer et al. 1999). It is closely related to the Mexican monospecific Chiranthodendron Larreátegui, and D. A. Baum et al. (2004) suggested (with minimal support) that the two genera are sister to the Malvatheca clade (Malvoideae and Bombacoideae).
Genera 27, species ca. 250 (1 genus, 3 species in the flora).