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Genus :


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Monoecious or dioecious shrubs or small trees, without stinging hairs. Leaves alternate, petiolate; stipules deciduous, intrapetiolar, connate, membranous, 2-cleft; leaf blade thinly papery or papery, often snow white or silvery tomentose abaxially, margin serrulate, 3-nerved at the base, cystoliths punctiform. Inflorescence axillary, sessile or dichotomously branched cymes or spikes, unisexual or rarely bisexual; glomerules solitary or pairs of dichotomously branched cymes. Flowers densely clustered, bracteate. Male flowers: (3-) 4 (-5) merous, perianth lobes 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: densely crowded on fleshy, swollen receptacle, 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 drupaceous, obovoid, slightly compressed, closely enclosed by often fleshy, adnate perianth. Seeds with copious endosperm; cotyledons small, broad.

Key to the species

Serial Key Reference
1a. Leaves broadly ovate, elliptic, or cordate; fruit enclosed by membranous perianth 2
1b. Leaves lanceolate, sometimes narrowly ovate or oblong; fruit enclosed by succulent perianth D. longifolia
2a. Branches without protuberances or warts; inflorescnces more than 5 cm; leaf margin sinuate-dentate, secondary veins in 5-8 pairs D. wallichiana
2b. Branches with fleshy, scale-like protuberances or warts; inflorescnces to 3 cm; leaf margin denticulate, secondary veins in 3-5 pairs D. squamata