Floral development was investigated in Ruta graveolens and Psilopeganum sinense, representing two genera in the tribe Ruteae. Special attention was paid to the sequence of initiation of organ whorls in the androecium and gynoecium. The antepetalous stamens arise at the same level as the antesepalous stamens in both species. The carpels are antepetalous in both taxa, indicating the androecium in both genera is obdiplostemonous. Compared with floral ontogeny of the ancestral genus Phellodendron (Toddalioideae), the obdiplostemonous androecium is a derived condition. The floral apex in P. sinense is quadrangular before initiation of the two carpels. Additionally, there are four dorsal and four ventral traces in the ovary. Integrated morphological and anatomical evidence indicates that the bicarpellate gynoecium in Psilopeganum most likely evolved from a tetracarpellate ancestor. Considering the similarities in morphological, geographical and chromosomal features, the ancestor may be Ruta-like. Further molecular phylogenetic and genetic studies are needed to verify this assumption.