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Grady L. Webster, except as specified

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, tree, vine, monoecious or dioecious
Stem generally branched, sometimes fleshy or spiny
Leaves generally simple, alternate or opposite, generally stipuled, petioled; blade entire, toothed, or palmately lobed
Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, raceme, spike; flowers sometimes in clusters (dense, enclosed by involucre, flower-like in Chamaesyce, Euphorbia ), terminal or axillary
Flower unisexual, ± radial; sepals generally 3–5, free or fused; petals generally 0; stamens 1–many, free or filaments fused; ovary superior, chambers 1–4, styles free or fused, simple or lobed
Fruit: generally capsule
Seeds 1–2 per chamber; seed scar appendage sometimes present, pad- to dome-like
Genera in family: 300 genera, 7500 species: ± worldwide especially tropical; some cultivated (Aleurites , tung oil; Euphorbia subsp.; Hevea , rubber; Ricinus )
Reference: [Webster 1967 J Arnold Arbor 48:303–430]
Many species ± highly TOXIC.


Annual, perennial herb, shrub, < 2 m, mostly monoecious; sap clear
Stems: central erect, generally much-branched; lateral spreading to ascending
Leaves simple, cauline, alternate, stipuled; hairs simple, sometimes glandular
Inflorescence: spike, terminal or axillary; staminate bracts minute; pistillate bracts leaf-like, toothed
Staminate flower: sepals 4; petals 0; stamens 4–8, filaments free or fused at base; nectary disk 0
Pistillate flower: sepals 3(–5); petals 0; nectary 0; ovary 3-chambered, styles 3, deeply cut
Fruit ± spheric, smooth or ± lobed
Seeds 1 per chamber, smooth to pitted; scar appendage minute
Species in genus: ± 400 species: tropical, warm temp worldwide
Etymology: (Greek: ancient name for a kind of nettle)


A. californica Benth.

Shrub < 1.5 m, hairy, ± glandular
Leaf: stipules 2–5 mm, linear; petiole < 1.5 cm; blade 1–2 cm, ovate to ± deltate, base truncate to ± lobed, margin crenate
Staminate inflorescence 1.5–4 cm, slender
Pistillate inflorescence < 2 cm; bracts together cup-like, hairy, margin glandular
Staminate flower: sepals ± 0.5 mm, puberulent; stamens >> sepals
Pistillate flower: sepals ± 1 mm, puberulent; ovary ± 1 mm diam, puberulent, styles reddish
Fruit 1–3 mm diam, puberulent
Ecology: Rocky slopes, chaparral, oak woodland
Elevation: 200–1300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Peninsular Ranges (San Diego Co.), w Sonoran Desert
Distribution outside California: Baja California
Horticultural information: DRN: 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

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