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EUPHORBIACEAE SPURGE FAMILY

Mark H. Mayfield & Grady L. Webster, except as noted

Annual to shrub, tree [vine, cactus-like succulent]; monoecious or dioecious; sap clear or milky. Stem: generally branched [fleshy or spiny]. Leaf: generally simple, alternate to whorled, generally stipuled, sessile or petioled; blade entire, toothed, or lobed. Inflorescence: flowers solitary or in terminal or axillary cymes, racemes, spikes, or panicles, or (in Euphorbia) 1° inflorescence a compact, flower-like cyathium with much-reduced flowers enclosed within an involucre of fused bracts, cyathia terminal or axillary, 1 or in cyme-like arrays. Flower: unisexual, ± radial; sepals 0 or 2–6, free or fused; petals generally 0(5); stamens 1–many, free or filaments fused; ovary superior, chambers (1)3(4), styles free or fused, undivided, forked, or variously lobed. Fruit: generally capsule that splits into mericarps that then dehisce, releasing seeds. Seed: 1 per chamber; knob-like appendage sometimes present at attachment scar.
217 genera, 6000+ species: ± worldwide especially tropics; some cultivated (Aleurites, tung oil; Euphorbia species; Hevea, rubber; Ricinus). Many species ± highly TOXIC, due primarily to latex, especially if eaten or in contact with skin, eyes. [Yang et al. 2012 Taxon 61:764–789] Eremocarpus moved to Croton, Tetracoccus moved to Picrodendraceae for TJM2; Chamaesyce moved to Euphorbia here (key to genera revised by Thomas J. Rosatti). —Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.

Key to Euphorbiaceae

ACALYPHA
[Annual, perennial herb] shrub; sap clear; generally monoecious. Stem: central erect, generally much-branched; lateral spreading to ascending. Leaf: cauline, alternate; hairs simple, sometimes glandular. Inflorescence: spike, terminal or axillary; staminate bracts minute; pistillate bracts leaf-like, toothed. Staminate flower: sepals 4; stamens 4–8, filaments free or fused at base; nectary disk 0. Pistillate flower: sepals 3(5); nectary 0; ovary 3-chambered, styles 3, deeply cut. Fruit: ± spheric, smooth or ± lobed. Seed: smooth to pitted; scar appendage minute.
± 400 species: tropics, warm temperate worldwide. (Greek: ancient name for a kind of nettle)

Previous taxon: Euphorbiaceae
Next taxon: Acalypha californica

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Oct 25 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Acalypha, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=10094, accessed on Oct 25 2014

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