- Leaves alternate, and spiraled, either simple, sometimes lobed, or palmately compound.
- Simple leaves are 3-veined with inconspicuous teeth or entire.
- Intra-petiolar stipules, sometimes large and tongue-shaped.
- Carrot odor.
- Often with stellate hairs.
- Tiny white to green flowers in branched inflorescences terminating in umbels or heads.
- Fruit a small berry with up to seeds.
Diagnosis: 1. Trees, shrubs, or hemi-epiphytes with inconspicuous stipules fused to petiole base, leaves simple, alternate, with sparse crenations to almost entire, usually at least weakly 3-veined, sometimes lobed, petioles varying in length, juvenile leaves often with lateral lobes, may have unpleasant odor in bark, often with stellate hairs. 2. Trees or hemi-epiphytes, either with inconspicuous stipules fused to petiole base or conspicuous ligulate stipules, leaves alternate, palmately compound, petioles varying in length, may have carrot odor in bark.
Local distribution: Most diverse in cloud forest.
|Bombacaceae||: free stipules, simple hairs, and mucilage.
|Capparidaceae||: minute free stipules, lateral veins pinnate.
|Rutaceae||: translucent yellow dots, simple hairs.
Diversity: Total: 3 genera, 18 species. Trees: 3 genera, 7 species.
Comments: Araliaceae, especially Oreopanax and Schefflera, are extremely abundant and conspicuous hemi-epiphytes in the high cloud forest. Oreopanax xalapensis, a legitimate tree with palmate leaves, is common and widespread above 1200 m.