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The family Symplocaceae was first recognized by D. Don (Symplocineae, Prodr. Fl. Nepal. 144.1825, excluding Schopfia) but most authors including De Candolle (Prodr. 8: 244.1844), Bentham and Hooker (Gen. Pl. 2: 668.1876), Stewart and Brandis (For. Fl.299.1874) and C. B. Clarke in Hook. f. (Fl. Brit. Ind. 3: 572.1882) included it in family Styracaceae. However, Miquel in Martius (Fl. Brass. 7: 22. 1842), Engler and Prantl (Pflanzenfam 4 (1): 168. 1890) following D. Don, treated it as a separate family. Lawrence (Taxon. Vasc. Pl. 665. 1951) and C. G. G. Van Steenis (Fl. Males. 4: 49. 1954) advocate its separate identity from Styracaceae on the basis of its inferior or semi-inferior, completely 2-5 loculed ovary, drupe crowned by persistent calyx lobes, 1-4 seriate or fasciculate (adelphous) stamens with avoid-subglobose anthers and absence of stellate hairs or scales. Hutchison (Gen. Fl. Pl 2: 39.1968; Fam. Fl. Pl. 1: 171.1960) also treats it as a separate unigeneric family.