Description: Erect or twining shrubs or annual or perennial herbs (frequently woody at base), or evergreen or deciduous trees, dioecious or monoecious, occasionally also with some bisexual flowers.
Leaves opposite or alternate, simple or palmately- compound, often palmately lobed; margins generally toothed, occasionally entire; venation 3–5 veined from (near) base or pinnate; stipules present, often small and falling early.
Inflorescences axillary, racemose (panicle, raceme, thyrse or spike-like), or cymose; usually unisexual, occasionally with male and female flowers or male, female and bisexual flowers mixed. Male inflorescences often dense, many flowered, female flowers often solitary or few-flowered. Flowers with perianth 1-whorled. Male flowers pedicellate; perianth with 4–6 lobes, usually imbricate, occasionally induplicate-valvate (Trema); stamens usually as many as perianth lobes; pistillode present or absent. Female flowers sessile or pedicellate; perianth lobes 4–6 or perianth undivided, staminodes present or absent; ovary 1-locular; stigmas usually 2.
Fruit an achene, nut or drupe.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 11 genera, 170 species, worldwide. Australia: 5 genera, ca. 15 species, all States.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Cannabaceae, Order: Rosales)
Edited by H. Sauquet (Jan 2019: circumscription, occurrence, and key, not description); note that several genera of Cannabaceae (incl. Aphananthe, Celtis, and Trema) were previously included as members of Ulmaceae here (PlantNET) and in the Flora of Australia (1989). Description now reflects this broader family circumscription, Kerry Gibbons, 9 May 2023.
Text by G. J. Harden, Kerry Gibbons, description updated 9 May 2023 from Harden, Fl NSW, and R.D. Pearce, H.J. Hewson and P.G. Kodela, Flora of Australia Online [accessed 8 May 2023].
Taxon concept: Angiosperm Phylogeny Group / Australian Plant Census (2018)
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Climbers or erect herbs, leaves palmately compound or deeply lobed (rarely unlobed), fruit an achene||2|
|Trees or shrubs, leaves simple, not deeply lobed, fruit a drupe||3|
|2||Climbers; leaves simple, palmately lobed or rarely unlobed||Humulus|
|Erect herbs; leaves palmately compound|
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|3||Leaves toothed, the veins ending in spinose teeth; leaves mostly strictly pinnately veined, rarely 3-veined from base||Aphananthe|
|Leaves either entire or toothed but teeth not spinose; leaves 3-veined from base, secondary veins usually extending at least midway up the lamina|
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|4||Lower surface of leaves not scabrous, margins entire or toothed||Celtis|
|Both surfaces of leaves scabrous, margins toothed|
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