ApocynaceaeDogbane family

  - Leaves simple, opposite or whorled (rarely alternate), entire.
  - Copious white latex.
  - Without stipules.
  - Scale-like glands in petiole axils.
  - Petioles of terminal leaves pressed together only at extreme base.
  - Flowers tubular with fused corolla.
  - Fruit a pair of dehiscent follicles with winged or arillate seeds, rarely a drupe.

Diagnosis: 1. Trees or shrubs with leaves opposite or whorled, entire, often thick, finger-shaped, scale-like glands in petiole axil, copious white latex, without stipules. 2. Trees with leaves simple, alternate, spiraled, copious white latex, without stipules.

Local distribution: Widespread.

Similar families
Clusiaceae: petioles of terminal leaves held together over terminal bud, petals free, latex often clear or yellow.
Euphorbiaceae: leaves alternate, without scale-like glands in petiole axil, flowers unisexual.
Moraceae: stipules present, flowers not showy.

Diversity: Total: 11 genera, 18 species. Trees: 5 genera, 8 species.

Comments: Now considered to include the milkweed family, Asclepiadaceae, which are mostly vines and lianas in our region.

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