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Rubia, from the Latin ruber red referring to a dye extracted from one of the species. Trees, shrubs, climbers or herbs; leaves opposite or whorled, simple, margins entire; interpetiolar stipules fall off leaving an interpetiolar scar. Flowers usually fragrant, 4-6 merous, calyx distinct or much reduced, corolla distinct, petals fused usually forming a tube, stamens epipetalous. Ovary inferior, fruit fleshy or non-fleshy, dehiscent or indehiscent.