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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Previous taxon Indexes to all accepted names and synonyms:
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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


Bruce G. Baldwin

Tree [shrub]; sap milky; monoecious. Stem: branches slender, glabrous. Leaf: cauline, alternate; petiole tip with adaxial pair of large, ± spheroid glands; blade entire, adaxially glabrous, abaxially papillate-glaucous, with 0–few glands near margins. Inflorescence: spike-like panicles or racemes, terminal or axillary, elongate, yellow-green; bracts 1–2 mm, with pair of large glands; pedicels 2–3 mm in ours; pistillate flowers basal, 1/bract; staminate flowers distal or throughout, generally 5–8/bract. Staminate flower: sepals 3, fused; stamens 2 or 3, filaments generally < 1 mm; nectary disk 0. Pistillate flower: sepals 3, fused; nectary disk 0; ovary 3-chambered, styles 3, fused proximally, simple. Fruit: ± spheric or ± 3-lobed, smooth. Seed: ± white, often staying attached to persistent fruit axis.
3 species: native to eastern & southeastern Asia. (Greek: 3, for lobes of calyx, ovary, fruit) [Bower et al. 2009 Inv Plant Sci Managem 2:386–395; Esser 2002 Harvard Pap Bot 7:17–21]

T. sebifera (L.) Small CHINESE TALLOWTREE
Plant to 13 m; deciduous. Leaf: petiole 2–7 cm; blade 3–9 cm, widely elliptic to ± (ob)ovate or triangular-(ob)ovate, acuminate. Inflorescence: 4–16 cm. Pistillate flower: 0–17. Fruit: ± 13 mm; pedicel 4–13 mm. Seed: 6–9 mm, ± spheric.
Stream edges; 10–300 m. n Sierra Nevada Foothills, Great Central Valley; native to Asia. [Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb.] Spring–summer {Weed listed by Cal-IPC} [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Triadica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Triadica sebifera Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.