Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Higher Taxonomy
Family: EuphorbiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: 217 genera, 6000+ species: +- worldwide especially tropics; some cultivated (Aleurites, tung oil; Euphorbia species; Hevea, rubber; Ricinus). Toxicity: Many species +- highly TOXIC, due primarily to latex, especially if eaten or in contact with skin, eyes. Note: Eremocarpus moved to Croton, Tetracoccus moved to Picrodendraceae for TJM2; Chamaesyce moved to Euphorbia here (key to genera revised by Thomas J. Rosatti).
eFlora Treatment Author: Mark H. Mayfield & Grady L. Webster, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.
Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: 3 species: native to eastern & southeastern Asia. Etymology: (Greek: 3, for lobes of calyx, ovary, fruit)
Jepson eFlora Author: Bruce G. Baldwin
Reference: Bower et al. 2009 Inv Pl Sci Managem 2:386--395; Esser 2002 Harvard Pap Bot 7:17--21
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: Bruce G. Baldwin 2012, Triadica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 25, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 25, 2024.