Barbeya oleoides is the only species of its family (Barbeyaceae). It is a small tree native to the mountains of Somalia, Ethiopia, and the Arabian Peninsula. It can be found locally abundant in the transition zone between the dry, evergreen, Afromontane forests and lower-elevation evergreen bushlands.
The Barbeyaceae family is closely related to its ecological associate on the Horn, the Dirachmaceae family. Evidence on the molecular level has demonstrated this despite obvious morphological differences between the two families such as Barbeya having small, unisexual, petalless flowers, while the flowers of Dirachmaceae are characterized by their bisexuality, and their relatively large petals (and size in general).
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