SterculiaceaeCacao family








Identification
  - Leaves simple, alternate, distichous.
  - Petiole swollen at apex.
  - With stipules, stringy bark , and mucilage.
  - Flowers small, white or pale yellow with curled petals (Guazuma) or inconspicuous and cauliflorous (Theobroma).
  - Fruit a cone-like woody capsule or large with leathery rind and many seds.

Diagnosis: Trees and shrubs, stringy bark with mucilage, free stipules, leaves distichous, alternate, simple, more or less 3-veined, serrate or entire, base asymmetric, petiole apically swollen, with stellate hairs if pubescent.

Similar families
Bombacaceae(Quararibea): horizontal branching, leaf margin entire.
Flacourtiaceae: no mucilage, no stellate hairs, petiole not apically swollen.
Ulmaceae: scratchy hairs on leaf upperside, no mucilage, hairs simple.

Diversity: Total: 3 genera, 4 species. Trees: 2 genera, 3 species.



Credits: Images and text copyright 2000-2007, William A. Haber, http://efg.cs.umb.edu/