EuphorbiaceaeSpurge Family

  - Leaves alternate and simple, lobed, or palmately compound
  - often with petiole swollen at apex and 3-veined
  - with stipules
  - petiole or leaf base often with nectar glands
  - usually with white or clear latex
  - flowers unisexual, plants monoecious or dioecious
  - style usually 3-branched
  - fruits often three-lobed with 3 cells

Diagnosis: Trees with white or clear latex, with free stipules, leaves alternate, simple, rarely palmately lobed, often with nectar glands on petiole or base of blade, some 3-veined and petiole long with double pulvinus, some with stellate hairs or peltate scales.

Local distribution: Widespread.

Similar families
Asteraceae: no stipules or nectar glands.
Caricaceae: no stipules or nectar glands.
Flacourtiaceae: no latex, most without nectar glands, some with translucent yellow dots and dashes.

Diversity: Total: 19 genera, 55 species. Trees: 14 genera, 40 species.

Comments: Sterile plants can be especially difficult to distinguish from Flacourts.

Credits: Images and text copyright 2000-2007, William A. Haber,