A genus of about 300 species, trees and shrubs, of tropical and warm temperate America and Asia. Wang et al. (2004) found that the affinities of S. tinctoria are with South American species of subgenus Epigenia, rather than with east Asian species of subgenus Hopea, section Palaeosymplocos.
ID notes:The foliage of S. tinctoria has a sweet taste, and an odor and taste similar to green apples. Sometimes the leaves are glossy and appear subcoriaceous, somewhat resembling Kalmia latifolia.