About 1000 species in 93 genera are found in tropical and subtropical regions as trees and shrubs.
Flacourtia ramontchii L'Hér. (Madagascar plum) and others have edible drupes.
[Summary yet to be added]
The bark is used as a caustic (von Reis Altschul 1973).
Aplin (1976) includes this species in a list of spiny plants capable of causing mechanical injury. This (Williamson 1955) and other Dovyalis species (Burkill 1935) are used as live fences because of their spiny branches.
Fine hairs upon the fruit are irritant to the mouth and the fruit is almost too acid to eat raw but is used in jams (Burkill 1935).
This species has stout thorns on the stem and makes a good hedge (Irvine 1961).
The ripe fruit is acid and astringent but rubbing it between the hands bruises the flesh of the fruit and causes a chemical change to take place which renders the fruit sweet and palatable (Corner 1952).
Maracaibo boxwood from this species is widely used and has not been reported to cause ill-effects in wood-workers. According to Woods & Calnan (1976), the Maracaibo boxwood which was reported by Dr T. F. Young at a medical meeting in 1902 to cause irritation of the throat and eyes may have been Gonioma. These authors state that Dr Young's Maracaibo boxwood was incorrectly identified as Tabebuia pentaphylla by Oliver (1908). For this information, they cite Record & Mell (1924).
The wood is said to be irritant (Schwartz et al. 1957, Orsler 1973).
According to Ainslie (1937), the seed produces an oil that is used [in Nigeria] in treating leprosy and skin complaints.
The branches bear horrific sharp axillary spines, as is suggested by the specific epithet (Gibson 1999).
The fumes of the burning plant are lethal, if inhaled (Smith 1971).