Euphorbiaceae – Characters , formula , floral diagram & Importance

Diagnostic characters

  1. Habit: Annual perennial Herbs, shrubs, or tree; most of plants are xerophytic; presence of milky juice.

  2. Roots: Tap root

  3. Stem: Herbaceous and fleshy; sPiny;

  4. Leaver Sessile or petiolate; alternate; simple; there is general tendency of reduction in leaves. Sometimes, leaves are reduced to scales or spines.

  5. Inflorescence: Racemose or cymose; Often a cyathium, cyathium has single naked female flower in the centre. Five involucral bracts surround it. In the axil of each flower, there are naked male flowers.

  6. Flower: Pedici I late; bracteate; actinomorph lc: Regular; incomplete; unisexual; hypogynous;

  7. Perianth: 5 perianth leaves; free: sometimes perianth is totally absent.

  8. Stamens: 5 stamens; free;

  9. Carpel: Tricarpillary; syncarpous ovary superior; Axi le placentation.

  10. Fruits: Shizocarpic fruit regma, rarely a capsule IL Seed: Endospermic. Flora

  11. seed:Endospermic.

formula and floral diagram




Economic Importance



  1. Source of food: The plant Montt:at gives starchy food from its tuberous roots.
  2. Oils: Some plants give wood oil, artist oil and other drying oils. These oils are used in paints. These oils are extracted from the seeds of several species.
  3. Lubricant and purgative: Castor oil (IA and Conon oil ( jL in are used as purgatives.
  4. Poisons: The milky juice of many plants like Manillal. Mercuriolis has deadly poisons. Some are very dangerous for stomach. Some can cause blindness of eyes, Therefore, these poisons are used for murder and suicides. These are also used to kill some insects.
  5. Medicinal uses: The fruit of Phyllanthus emblica has many medicinal uses.
  6. Rubber: Several species of Hevea, Man/hot gives common rubber in their latex.
  7. Box wood: Box wood ;s obtained from Buxus specie It is best wood for wood engraving.
  8. Ornamental plants: The plants of this family have attractive colours. So they am commonly used as ornamental plants. Examples: Euphorbiu splenclens. Euphorbia pulcherrima, castor bean.
  9. Dyes: Chrozophora gives dye.
  1. Distribution pattern

This family has worldwide distribution. Most of its plants are xerophytes. They are found in deserts. Some species are common in tropical areas.

Common species

  1. Euphorbia helioscopia (Spurge)

  2. Euphorbia pilulifera

  3. Euphorbia royleana

  4. Phyllanthus emblica

  5. Richuts communis


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