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Description


Trees or shrubs, rarely herbs, monoecious or rarely dioecious, densely or sparsely clothed with stellate hairs or lepidote scales, stems watery, coloured or rarely milky sap. Leaves simple, alternate, petiolate, 2 (-10) sessile or stipitate glands at junction of petiole and lamina or scattered along margins, stipules caducous. Inflorescences terminal, racemiform cymes or thyrses, androgynous or unisexual; female flowers solitary at lower nodes; male flowers in fascicles at upper nodes; bracts shortly subulate or triangular. Male flowers: sepals 5, free or shortly connate base, valvate; petals isomerous with sepals, free, disc glands small, opposite to sepals; stamens 8-40, free, arranged in whorls; pistillode absent. Female flowers: sepals (4-) 5 (-10), connate base; petals 0-5 (-6), smaller than sepals or vestigial; disc glands small; staminodes absent or very rarely 1-5; ovary  3-locular; styles 3, free or shortly connate below into a column, once or repeatedly bifid above into linear or thickened branches; ovule one per locule. Fruits capsular, unlobed or lobed, 3-seeded. Seeds 3-angled, smooth, carunculate.

Key to the species

Serial Key Reference
1a. Stout erect herbs 2
1b. Shrubs or trees, occasionally climber 4
2a. Leaves unlobed and not hairy 3
2b. Leaves 3-lobed and hairy C. lobatus
3a. Plants densely ochraceous stellate-hirsute to scabrid; leaves stronly trinerved at base; female sepals distinctly unequal C. hirsutus
3b. Plants sparsely whitish stellate pubescent; leaves penninerved; female sepals more or less equal C. bonplandianus
4a. Leaves trinerved at base 5
4b. Leaves penninerved 7
5a. All parts glabrous or sparsely and softly stellate puberulous C. tiglium
5b. All parts coarsely stellate tomentellous, scabrid, hispid or hirsute 6
6a. Fruits 1.5-3 × 1.5-2.5 cm, globose, oblong or obovoid, thick walled, seeds with scattered stellate hairs C. caudatus
6b. Fruits 0.8-1.0 in dia. subglobose, thin walled, seeds glabrous C. lachnocarpus
7a. Indumentum of young shoots, petioles and rachis and flowers lepidote 8
7b. Indumentum of young shoots, petioles, rachis and flowers stellate-pubescent or lacking 9
8a. Leaves very coarsely dentate-serrate-crenate; capsules 8-10 × 8-12 mm, prominently lobed C. persimilis
8b. Leaves shallowly and evenly serrate-dentate to subentire; capsules 2.5-3.5 × 2.0-2.5 cm obscurely lobed C. joufra
9a. Leaf serrulate along margins, lateral nerve 8-16 pairs C. chittagongensis
9b. Leaf irregularly and not deeply dentate along margins, lateral nerve 2-9 pairs C. aromaticus