21. Debregeasia Gaudichaud-Beaupré, Voy. Bonite, Bot., Atlas. 90. 1844.
水麻属 shui ma shu
Chen Jiarui (陈家瑞 Chen Chia-jui); Ib Friis, C. Melanie Wilmot-Dear
Leucocnides Miquel; Missiessya Weddell; Morocarpus Siebold & Zuccarini (1846), not Boehmer (1760).
Shrubs or small trees, without stinging hairs. Leaves alternate, petiolate; stipules deciduous, intrapetiolar, connate, membranous, 2-cleft; leaf blade thinly papery or papery, 3-veined, often snow white or silvery tomentose abaxially, margin serrulate; cystoliths punctiform. Inflorescences axillary, densely capitate clusters of unisexual flowers (plants monoecious or dioecious); glomerules solitary or pairs of dichotomously branched cymes. Male flowers: perianth lobes (3 or)4(or 5), slightly connate, valvate, often depressed-globose in bud, stamens (3 or)4(or 5); filaments inflexed in bud; rudimentary ovary obovoid, woolly at base. Female flowers: perianth tube obovoid or jug-shaped, mouth contracted, very minutely 3- or 4-toothed, in fruit often enlarged, fleshy, and adnate to ovary, rarely membranous and free; staminodes absent; style short; stigma penicillate, with tuft of long hairs; ovule orthotropous. Achenes somewhat drupaceous, obovoid, slightly compressed, closely enclosed by often fleshy, adnate perianth. Seeds with endosperm; cotyledons small, broad.
About six species: mainly in tropics and subtropics of E Asia, one species in N Africa and one in E Australia; all six species in China.
The stem fibers are used to make ropes and fishing nets, and the fruits are edible and used to make wine.