An investigation of two species of Nuxia showed that this genus is characterized by the presence of the eight-carbon iridoid glucoside unedoside and/or its derivatives. From N. floribunda unedoside, nuxioside (6-O-alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl-unedoside) and 2 "-acetyl-3 "-cinnamoyl-nuxioside were isolated, while from N. oppositifolia 2 "-acetyl-3 "-benzoyl-nuxioside was obtained. Both plants contained verbascoside. The biosynthesis of unedoside in N. floribunda was investigated and deoxyloganic acid was found to be a precursor, similar to wh;lt was found for the eight-carbon iridoids in Thunbergia alata earlier investigated. The taxonomic position of Nuxia and Buddlejaceae is briefly discussed. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.