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Bruce G. Baldwin, family description

Shrub [tree]; dioecious [monoecious]. Stem: generally branched. Leaf: simple [palmate-compound], alternate, opposite, or whorled in 3s; entire or toothed; stipules 0 [present]. Inflorescence: generally axillary [subterminal, terminal]. Staminate flower: ± radial; sepals [3]4–10[12], free [fused], overlapped; petals 0; nectary disk present [0]; stamens [2]5–10[55], filaments free [fused]. Pistillate flower: ± radial; sepals [3]4–13, free; petals 0; nectary disk present [0]; ovary superior, compound, placentas axile, ovules generally 2 per chamber, styles free [fused]. Fruit: capsule. Seed: 1–2 per chamber, scar generally appendaged [not].
24 genera, 80 species: tropics, especially southern hemisphere. Incl in (non-monophyletic) Euphorbiaceae in TJM (1993). —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.


Grady L. Webster

Plant generally 0.5–2 m; sap clear. Stem: axis erect; branches generally many, spreading to erect; twigs generally ± red, turning gray, generally hairy, glabrous in age; young lateral twigs short, sometimes becoming spine-like. Leaf: cauline, generally clustered at short, lateral branch tips; petiole < 2 mm; blade leathery, base obtuse to acute. Staminate inflorescence: cyme, raceme, or panicle, occasionally clustered on short, lateral twigs, minute-bracted. Pistillate inflorescence: flower 1. Staminate flower: sepals 0.5–2 mm; filaments glabrous or hairy; nectary disk ± minute-lobed. Pistillate flower: sepals 2–5 mm; nectary disk minute-lobed; ovary (2)3–5-chambered, style = chamber in number, free, ± flat, generally spreading. Fruit: ± spheric, generally lobed, glabrous or short-hairy, generally brown. Seed: smooth, shiny.
5 species: California, Arizona, Mexico. (Latin: 4 seeds, from 4-lobed ovary in Tetracoccus dioicus) [Dressler 1954 Rhodora 56:45–61]

Key to Tetracoccus

Previous taxon: Picrodendraceae
Next taxon: Tetracoccus dioicus


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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Tetracoccus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015

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