Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Trees, shrubs or herbs, monoecious or rarely dioecious; latex milky; indumentum simple or absent. Leaves alternate, opposite or whorled, mostly unlobed, pinnately veined; stipules present or absent. Inflorescences: cyathia with connate involucral bracts forming a cup enclosing many male florets surrounding a single central female floret. Male florets: many, in 4 or 5 monochasia; calyx reduced or absent; stamen single. Female floret: calyx present or absent; ovary (2 -) 3 (- 4)-locular with one ovule in each locule; styles 3, free or basally connate, each bifid or rarely entire. Fruits capsular, rarely drupaceous; seeds carunculate or ecarunculate; testa dry, smooth or ornamented.

Tropical, subtropical and temperate regions around the World, 11 genera; 3 in India, of which two are exotics under cultivation.


1 a. Cyathium bilaterally symmetrical on the vertical axis and asymmetrical in radial axis, the glands hidden with the nectar spur; styles connate into a long column
42a. Pedilanthus
b. Cyathium symmetrical in two axes, vertical and radial (horizontal), the glands not hidden within a nectar spur; styles mostly free or partially connate 2
2 a. Involucral glands 4 or 5, separate and alternating with the involucral lobes of cyathium along the rim 42. Euphorbia
b. Involucral glands connate into an annular ring, with gaps (cult.) 42b. Synadenium

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