Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi
Soft wooded, dioecious or monoecious trees with succulent stem and milky sap, trunks mostly unbranched. Leaves often very large in terminal crown, palmately lobed, with long, hollow petioles, exstipulate. Flowers unisexual then plants mostly dioecious, rarely bisexual; female flowers in short cymes or solitary on short peduncles; male flowers in long drooping panicles; calyx small, 5-lobed. Petals 5, free or united. Male flowers with 10 stamens in 2 series, epipetalous, sessile; pistil rudimentary. Female flowers pentacarpellary, syncarpous, placention parietal, stigma sessile 5-lobed. Fruit succulent berry. Seeds numerous, enclosed in sweet pulp.
The family consists of 4 genera and 55 species distributed in tropical America and Africa; represented in Pakistan by only one species.
Acknowledgement: We are grateful to the United States Department of Agriculture for financing this research under P.L. 480.