59. Manihot Miller, Gard. Dict. Abr., ed. 4. 1754.
木薯属 mu shu shu
Authors: Bingtao Li & Michael G. Gilbert
Janipha Kunth; Mandioca Link; Manihotoides D. J. Rogers & Appan.
Trees, shrubs, or herbs, monoecious (rarely dioecious), sometimes with fleshy root-tubers; stems and branches with prominently large leaf scars; latex white; indumentum absent. Leaves alternate; stipules small, usually caducous; petioles long, apex glandular or stipellate; leaf blade usually palmately lobed or dissected, sometimes uppermost subentire. Inflorescences terminal or pseudoaxillary, mostly racemose-paniculate, usually bisexual, with long peduncles; flowers apetalous. Male flowers: calyx synsepalous; sepals 5, imbricate, petaloid; disk intrastaminal, usually 10-lobed; stamens 8-15, in 2 series; filaments free, delicate; anthers 2-locular, longitudinally dehiscent, connectives hairy at apex; pistillode small or absent. Female flowers: sepals 5, free or connate, sometimes deciduous; disk annular, sometimes with staminodes; ovary 3(or 5)-locular; ovules 1 per locule; styles short, free, mostly multifid or lacerate (rarely bifid); stigmas broad. Fruit a capsule, 3-valved; columella often persistent. Seeds carunculate; testa dry, crustaceous; endosperm fleshy; cotyledon broad and flat.
About 60 species: tropics of the Americas, mostly from Brazil, also widely cultivated in tropical regions; two species (introduced) in China.