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Key to Euphorbiaceae

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1 Plant a twining vine (herbaceous or woody at base) to 5 m long; stem with stinging hairs; [subfamily Acalyphoideae]
1 Plant not twining; instead a tree, shrub, or herb (or weakly twining in some Tragia, but then less than 1 m long); stem either armed with stinging hairs, or not armed.
  2 Shrub or tree (woody).
    3 Leaves entire.
      4 Hairs of vegetative parts of the plant (especially the leaf undersurface) present and either 2-branched, stellate, or modified into lepidote scales (use 10× or more magnification); [subfamily Crotonoideae].
      4 Hairs of vegetative parts of the plant (especially the leaf undersurface) absent or unbranched (simple) (use 10× or more magnification).
        5 Flowers enclosed in a cyathium; plant with copious white latex; [subfamily Euphorbioideae]
        5 Flowers not enclosed in a cyathium; plant either with or without white latex (the sap clear to whitish or absent).
          6 Leaf blades 1-1.5× as long as wide; [exotic trees].
             7 Petioles 9-19 cm long; [subfamily Crotonoideae]
             7 Petioles 2-6 cm long; [subfamily Acalyphoideae]
          6 Leaf blades 1.5-5× as long as wide; native or exotic shrubs or, rarely, small trees.
               8 Sepals absent; latex watery; leaf margins obscurely gland-toothed; [subtropical hardwood hammocks of far southern FL]; [subfamily Euphorbioideae]
               8 Sepals present; latex absent or watery; leaf margins entire; [various habitats and collectively widespread].
                 9 Latex colorless to whitish, watery; capsules ovoid or ellipsoidal; [FL peninsula and s. TX]; [subfamily Crotonoideae]
                 9 Latex absent; capsules subglobose; [collectively widespread in our region].
                   10 Leaves palmately veined at base; inflorescence bracts not subtended by glands; [s. TX and southwards]; [subfamily Acalyphoideae]
                   10 Leaves pinnately veined; inflorescence bracts with 2 subtending glands; [widespread from NC to FL west to AR and e. TX]; [subfamily Euphorbioideae]
                     11 Plants hairy with 2-branched hairs (malpighiaceous trichomes); [subfamily Acalyphoideae]
                     11 Plants either glabrous or hairy with simple or stellate trichomes.
                          13 Petals present; inflorescence a cyme or dichasium; leaf lobe margins entire or serrate; [subfamily Crotonoideae].
                       12 Leaves unlobed, margins crenate (obscurely crenate in Hippomane and Adelia) or serrate.
                              15 Leaves 8-20× as long as wide (lanceolate to linear); petiole with 0 or 2 glands at summit.
                                16 Petiole lacking 2 glands at summit; [native, widespread in our area]
                              15 Leaves 1-3× as long as wide (elliptic, ovate, or obovate); petiole with 0 or 1 gland at summit.
                                  17 Lower leaf surface densely stellate-pubescent; leaf strongly toothed; [TX]; [subfamily Acalyphoideae]
                                    18 Leaf blades obovate, 2-3× as long as wide, with a rounded apex; petiole < 0.2 cm long; fruit a capsule, 1.0-1.3 cm in diameter; [TX]; [subfamily Acalyphoideae]
                                    18 Leaf blades ovate, 1-2× as long as wide, with an acute apex; petiole 1-6 cm long; fruit a drupe, 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter; [FL]; [subfamily Euphorbioideae]
  2 Herb.
                                         20 Plants with a prominent, round woody shallow subterranean caudex to 13.5 cm in diameter; [subfamily Crotonoideae]
                                           21 Leaves cordate to truncate or rounded at base; plant glabrous, stellate, or with conspicuous stinging trichomes; stamens 8-15; [subfamily Crotonoideae].
                                                    25 Plants hairy with 2-branched hairs (malpighiaceous trichomes); [subfamily Acalyphoideae]
                                                        27 Flowers in terminal spikes; stout perennial with several to many stems arising from a subterranean crown; [subfamily Euphorbioideae]
                                                        27 Flowers strictly axillary or both axillary and terminal, in small clusters, racemes, or spikes; finer perennial or annual, not typically with > 1 stem arising from a subterranean crown; [subfamily Acalyphoideae]

Key G5: shrubs and subshrubs with alternate, simple, unlobed, toothed leaves

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1 Subshrubs or dwarf shrubs, aboveground stems creeping or erect, < 15 cm tall; leaves evergreen.
  2 Leaves 1.5-3 cm wide, coarsely toothed; flowers lacking sepals and petals; [exotic species, sparingly naturalized or spreading in suburban situations]
  2 Leaves < 1.5 cm wide, finely toothed or entire; flowers with sepals and petals; [native species, collectively widespread and common].
    3 Leaves fleshy, terete in ×-section; petals 5, bright pink
    3 Leaves flat, not fleshy; petals white or pale pink.
      4 Leaves < 2.5 mm wide; corolla with petals distinct; plant creeping
      4 Leaves > 5 mm wide; corolla with petals fused (distinct in Chimaphila); plant creeping or erect
1 Shrubs, aboveground stems erect, > 30 cm tall; leaves evergreen or deciduous.
        5 Inflorescence an involucrate (composite) head subtended by phyllaries, the heads solitary or many and variously arrayed in secondary inflorescences, the ovary inferior, the corolla connate and tubular at least basally, the calyx absent, the stamens 5, the fruit a cypsela
        5 Inflorescence, flower, and fruit structure various, but not with the combination of features as above.
          6 Leaves evergreen. {add to 6a Ardisia in PRIMULACEAE, Rhaphiolepis in ROSACEAE, Camellia in THEACEAE}
             7 Leaves glandular-punctate on one or both surfaces with golden-yellow glands; flowers unisexual, lacking a perianth; fruit a pale gray, waxy drupe with a single seed
             7 Leaves not glandular punctate; flowers bisexual or unisexual, with a white, pink, or yellow perianth; fruit various, a red, blue, or black drupe or berry with several seeds, or a capsule.
               8 Petals connate and urceolate, white to pale pink; flowers bisexual; leaves ovate, lanceolate, or elliptic, broadest near the middle or towards the base, the teeth well-distributed along most of the margin on either side; fruit either a capsule or a red, blue, or black berry
               8 Petals distinct, yellow or white; flowers unisexual or bisexual; leaves oblanceolate or elliptic, broadest towards the tip or near the middle, the teeth usually concentrated in the upper half of the leaf; fruit either a black or red drupe with several pyrenes, a red berry with several seeds, or red or black pomes.
                 9 Plants with nodal, simple or tripartite thorns; flowers bisexual, with a yellow perianth; fruit a red berry with several seeds
                 9 Plants lacking thorns; flowers unisexual or bisexual, with a white perianth; fruit either a black or red drupe with several pyrenes or a red or black pome.
                   10 Flowers unisexual; fruit a black or red drupe with several pyrenes
          6 Leaves deciduous {add [Fagaceae]}.
                     11 Plants lacking thorns; leaf teeth acute, blunt, rounded, or callus-tipped, but not spinulose.
                       12 Leaves crenate-wavy, with 1-2 teeth per cm of leaf margin; leaves usually obliquely cordate or angled-truncate at the base; pubescence of leaves and stems stellate
                       12 Leaves crenulate, serrate or serrulate, with >2 teeth per cm of leaf margin; leaves cuneate, rounded, or subcordate at base, not oblique; pubescence of leaves and stems absent or simple.
                          13 Leaves prominently 3-veined from the base.
                            14 Ovary 5-locular; stamens many or 5, fused or separate; fruit a 5-valved capsule or of 5 mericarps; flowers yellow or pink, or white with a pink blaze
                            14 Ovary 3-locular; stamens 5, separate; fruit a 3-valved capsule or drupe; flowers white or pale green
                              15 Flowers in catkins; perianth absent or very small; fruit a 1-seeded nut, samara, or waxy drupe (capsule in Salix in SALICACEAE).
                                16 Leaves > 4 cm wide, lacking punctate glands; fruit a 1-seeded nut or samara
                                16 Leaves < 3 cm wide, either punctate-glandular on one or both surfaces or lacking punctate glands; fruit a 1-seeded waxy drupe or a capsule.
                              15 Flowers arrayed variously, but not in catkins; perianth present, conspicuous; fruit a 1-many-seeded capsule, pome, berry, or follicle.
                                    18 Ovary superior; fruit either dry and dehiscent, a capsule or an aggregate of follicles or achenes, or fleshy and indehiscent, a drupe with 4-8 pyrenes.
                                             22 Ovary 2-8-locular; fruit fleshy and indehiscent, a drupe with 2-8 pyrenes; flowers mostly functionally unisexual (or sometimes bisexual in RHAMNACEAE).
                                               23 Petals connate at the base; stamens alternate to the petals and opposite to the sepals; fruit 4-8-locular, with 4-8 pyrenes
                                               23 Petals separate (or absent in Rhamnus alnifolia); stamens opposite to the petals (when present) and alternate to the sepals; fruit 2-4-locular, with 2-4 pyrenes
                                                      26 Leaves > 5× as long as wide; stamens 2; ovary and capsule 3-locular; [plants of the Coastal Plain of SC, GA, AL, and FL]
                                                      26 Leaves < 3× as long as wide; stamens 5 or 10; ovary and capsule 2-3-locular; [plants collectively widespread].
                                                        27 Stamens 5; ovary and capsule 2-locular; leaves elliptic (widest near the middle), the teeth fine (usually > 5 points per cm of margin), and along much of the margin; inflorescence a terminal raceme; hairs of the lower leaf surface simple, erect
                                                        27 Stamens 10; ovary and capsule 3-locular; leaves obovate (widest towards the apex), the teeth obscure to coarse (usually < 4 points per cm of margin), and primarily in the upper half of the leaf; inflorescence a terminal or axillary raceme or cyme; hairs of the lower leaf surface either simple and appressed, or stellate.
                                                          28 Leaf margins regularly and evenly serrate in the upper half of the leaf (usually nearly entire towards the base); inflorescence an elongate, many flowered (>30) raceme borne at the end of branchlets of the season; corolla of separate petals, the stamens separate; hairs of the lower leaf surface simple and appressed
                                                          28 Leaf margins wavy or irregularly dentate, mainly in the upper half of the leaf; inflorescence a few flowered (<20) axillary raceme, cyme, or cluster; corolla fused basally into a tube, the stamens adnate to the tube; hairs of the lower leaf surface stellate
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