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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 11/28/2012)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 11/28/2012)
Family CARICACEAE
Description Soft-wooded laticiferous shrubs and small trees, usually dioecious or monoecious and with disproportionately thick, simple or infrequently branching trunks orna- mented with large leaf scars. Leaves spiral, usually quite large and long-petiolate, exstipulate, the blade palmately compound or simple and variously lobed, rarely entire. Inflorescence axillary at the uppermost nodes, the staminate an extensive and highly compound thyrse, the pistillate much less compounded and with fewer and larger flowers, the fruits developed at the base of the young growth and appearing cauliflorous. Flowers dichlamydeous, 5-merous, regular, hypogynous, sympetalous but usually imperfectly so in the pistillate; calyx lobes 5, imbricate or nearly open in aestivation, usually inconspicuous; corolla salverform or infundibuli- form and with a well-developed tube in the staminate, more or less campanulate and rather imperfectly sympetalous in the pistillate, the limb 5-lobed with con- torted aestivation; stamens 10 in 2 whorls inserted near the orifice of the corolla tube, the antepetalous usually with somewhat shorter filaments than the ante- sepalous, the filaments occasionally more or less petaloid or with petaloid ap- pendages, reduced to staminodia or absent in pistillate flowers; pistil superior, 3- to 5-carpellate, usually 1-celled and with parietal placentation, rarely 3- to 5-celled and with axile placentation, the ovules numerous, anatropous, the stigmas 3-5, sessile or essentially so, usually dichotomous, rarely subcapitate, reduced to an acicular pistillode or absent in staminate flowers. Fruit a very large to rather small succulent 1- to 5-celled berry, the numerous seeds with pulpy testas and funicles. The Caricaceae are a small family of four genera, all tropical American except the bitypic Cylicomorpha of Africa. The plants are of strikingly antediluvian aspect with their stout, usually simple trunks heavily ornamented with large spiral leaf scars and their terminal crowns of fern-like leaves. The latex tubes, which traverse all parts of the plant, are associated with various proteolytic enzymes, particularly papain.
Habit shrub tree
Key a. Leaves palmately compound; petals antesepalous; ovary 5-celled .-------------- 1. JACARATIA aa. Lcaves palmately lobed; petals alternisepalous; ovary i-celled. --- 2. CARICA
 
 
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