Description: Shrubs or trees, monoecious or dioecious, lacking latex.
Leaves usually alternate (rarely opposite or whorled), simple to palmate, petiolate; stipules present or absent.
Inflorescences axillary, cymose, racemose, spicate or paniculate, bracteate. Flowers actinomorphic, unisexual, pedicellate. Petals absent. Male flowers with 3–12 usually free sepals, with 3–30 stamens, filaments free or connate. Female flowers with as many sepals as male flowers, superior ovary, usually 3-locular (can be 2–5-locular), ovules 2 in each loculus; styles undivided or bifid, solitary or 1 per locule; nectary disc often present below ovary.
Fruit capsular, rarely a drupe. Seeds 1 or 2 per locule, often carunculate.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 24 genera, 96 species, mostly tropical, some extending into temperate zones. Australia: 16 genera, all States.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Picrodendraceae, Order: Malpighiales)
Previously treated as subfamily Oldfieldioideae in Euphorbiaceae. Distinguished from Euphorbiaceae sens. strict. by having 2 ovules per locule, echinate pollen, and the absence of latex from structures (T.M. Spokes & J.Z. Weber, Picrodendraceae in Flora of South Australia 5th edn (2011); N. Walsh, Picrodendraceae in Flora of Victoria (2016); accessed May 2017).
Text by (compiled) May 2017, based on N. Walsh, Flora of Victoria (2016)
Taxon concept: Australian Plant Census (accessed May 2017)
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Shrub; leaves less than 5 mm wide||2|
|Shrub or tree; leaves mostly more than 10 mm wide||3|
|2||Leaves usually in groups of 3 at each node, the groups alternate on the stem; capsule 2- or 3-celled with 2 (or 1 by abortion) seeds per cell||Micrantheum|
|Leaves alternate or opposite, often crowded; capsule 1-celled, 1-seeded (by abortion)|
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|3||Leaves opposite, finely toothed to crenate, more or less glabrous with lower surface not greyish; capsule 2-locular, brown to black||Austrobuxus|
|Leaves alternate, entire or shallowly crenate, lower surface greyish or fawnish grey, covered with hairs (sometimes more or less glabrescent with age); capsule mostly 3- or 4-locular, usually orangey in colour|
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