17. Gymnanthes Swartz, Prodr. 6, 95. 1788.
[Greek gymnos, naked, and anthos, flower, alluding to highly reduced or absent perianth] [Greek gymnos, naked, and anthos, flower, alluding to highly reduced or absent perianth]
Kenneth J. Wurdack
Shrubs or trees, unarmed, monoecious [dioecious]; hairs absent [unbranched]; latex colorless [white]. Leaves persistent [deciduous], alternate, simple; stipules present, persistent; petiole present, glands absent; blade unlobed, margins entire [serrate], laminar glands abaxial, submarginal [absent]; venation pinnate. Inflorescences bisexual (pistillate flowers proximal, staminate distal) [unisexual], terminal or axillary, racemelike thyrses; glands subtending each bract 0 [or 2]. Pedicels present. Staminate flowers: sepals 0[–3]; petals 0; nectary absent; stamens (2–)4(–5)[–100], distinct; pistillode absent. Pistillate flowers: sepals 0[–3]; petals 0; nectary absent; pistil 3-carpellate; styles 3, connate basally, unbranched. Fruits capsules. Seeds subglobose; caruncle present [absent].
Species ca. 45 (1 in the flora): se United States, Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, Africa, Asia; tropical and subtropical regions.
Members of Gymnanthes are found primarily in the New World; some are in Africa and Asia.
SELECTED REFERENCE Webster, G. L. 1983. A botanical Gordian knot: The case of Ateramnus and Gymnanthes (Euphorbiaceae). Taxon 32: 304–305.