Euphorbiaceae Antoine Laurent de Jussieu, 1789.
Euphorbiaceae: Dioecious or monoecious annual, biennial or perennial herbs or shrubs, often with latex. Leaves usually alternate, less often opposite, or alternate, whorled and opposite, simple, stipulate or not. Flowers unisexual, usually actinomorphic, often apetalous and sometimes asepalous, axillary, solitary, fasciculate, spicate, in axillary or leaf opposed panicles, or in glanduliferous cyathia. Male flowers with 0-6 free or united sepals, 0-6 petals, a disc or not, and 1-many stamens with the filaments free or connate; pistillode present or absent. Female flowers with 0-6 free sepals or a spathaceous perianth, 0-6 petals and a 2-3 locular superior ovary with 2-3 free or united styles, axile placentation and 1-2 ovules per loculus; disc and staminodes present or absent. Fruit schizocarp, being an explosively dehiscent regma. Seeds carunculate or not.
1. Flowers without a perianth, consisting of single stamens or ovaries, several male flowers and one female flower being enclosed in each glanduliferous involucre (cyathium), latex present 5. Euphorbia
1. Flowers with perianth, not involucrate; latex absent
2. Leaves opposite, fruit 2 locular 3. Mercurialis
2. Leaves alternate, fruit 3 locular
3.Leaves entire, flowers solitary or fasciculate; fruit smooth; seeds 2 per cell 1. Andrachne
3. Leaves dentate or lobate, flowers paniculate; fruit tuberculate or spiny; seeds 1 per cell
4. Plant with stellate hairs; leaves scarcely lobate; stamens 3-15 2. Chrozophora
4. Plant glabrous, leaves palmately lobed; stamens numerous 4. Ricinus