Description: Shrubs or trees with milky latex, monoecious.
Leaves alternate, palmately 3–13-lobed, lobes entire or lobed; long-petiolate.
Inflorescences racemes or panicles, terminal or in upper leaf axils. Perianth of 5 segments. Male flowers with 10 stamens. Female flowers with 3-locular ovary; styles 3, united at base.
Capsule 3-locular, 3-lobed.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 170 species, tropical America. Australia: 2 species (naturalized), Qld, N.S.W.
M. esculenta Crantz, Cassava or Tapioca, is widely cultivated in tropical countries but is not fully naturalized in N.S.W. In this species the leaves are mostly 3–7-lobed and often variegated.
Text by T. A. James & G. J. Harden
Taxa not yet included in identification key