Pedilanthus Poit.

From the Greek pedilon — shoe, alluding to the ‘slipper’-like appearance of the floral cyathium.

Shrubs or small trees, deciduous, perennial, male and female flowers on the same plant; stems and foliage with white latex. Indumentum of simple, multicellular hairs. Stipules entire, inconspicuous, soon shed. Leaves alternate, stalked, unlobed, penninerved, without glands; margins entire. Inflorescences terminal or axillary, pseudanthial and irregular, comprising 1 or 2 bisexual involucres per axil; involucres (cyathia) subtended by 2 bracts, shoe- or boat-shaped, top portion of involucre forming a conspicuous spur. Male flowers stalked; calyx lobes absent; petals absent; disk absent; stamens solitary. Female flowers stalked; calyx lobes and petals reduced to small rim below ovary; disk absent; ovary 3-chambered; styles 3, long-fused at base, divided into 2. Fruits capsular, dehiscent, 3-lobed, surface smooth. Seeds ovoid to roundish, ecarunculate.

13 species from the New World. 1 species sparingly naturalised in subtropical and tropical Australia.


Stems succulent, zig-zagging at each node; involucres (cyathia) subtended by 2 bracts, shoe- or boat-shaped, top portion forming a conspicuous spur.

Dressler (1957), Koutnik (1985).

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.

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