Alchornea Swartz

Named for Stanesby Alchorne (1727–1800), an English plant collector.

Shrubs or trees, evergreen, perennial, male and female flowers on the same plant or male and female flowers on separate plants; stems and foliage without latex. Indumentum of simple, multicellular hairs. Stipules entire, inconspicuous, soon shed. Leaves alternate, stalked to stalkless, unlobed, palmi- or penninerved, without glands; margins scalloped to saw-toothed. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, spike-like or paniculate, solitary or fascicled, usually unisexual, with flowers in bracted clusters with a single involucre. Male flowers stalkless to stalked; calyx lobes 2-5, edge to edge, more or less equal; petals absent; disk absent; stamens 8 or rarely fewer, filaments free or slightly fused at base, attached to a slightly raised receptacle. Female flowers stalkless to stalked; calyx lobes 3-6, overlapping; petals absent; disk absent; ovary 1-4-chambered, ovules 1 per chamber; styles free or shortly fused at base, simple or rarely divided into 2. Fruits capsular, dehiscent, 3-lobed, surface spiny. Seeds roundish; ecarunculate.

Tolerant of mild frosts.

About 50 species in the tropics and subtropics, with 3 species in Australia. 1 native species is commonly cultivated.

Cuttings or seeds.

Leaves toothed with short, sharp spine-tipped teeth.

Airy Shaw (1980).

Source: Forster, P. (2002). Euphorbiaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Malpighiales
family       Euphorbiaceae
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