Description from Flora of China
Trees, shrubs, vines, or rarely herbs, frequently with milky or watery latex, sometimes spiny. Stipules present, frequently caducous. Leaves alternate, rarely opposite; petiole often present and well-defined; leaf blade simple, sometimes with cystoliths, margin entire or palmately lobed, venation pinnate or palmate. Inflorescences axillary, frequently paired, racemose, spicate, capitate, or rarely cymose, sometimes a fig or syconium with flowers completely enclosed within a hollow receptacle. Flowers unisexual (plants monoecious or dioecious), small to very small. Calyx lobes (1 or)2-4(-8), free or connate, imbricate or valvate. Corolla absent. Male flowers: stamens as many as and opposite to calyx lobes (except in Artocarpus), straight or inflexed in bud; anthers 1- or 2-loculed, crescent-shaped to top-shaped; pistillode (rudimentary sterile pistil) often present. Female flowers: calyx lobes usually 4; ovary superior, semi-inferior, or inferior, 1(or 2)-loculed; ovules 1 per locule, anatropous or campylotropous; style branches 1 or 2; stigmas usually filiform. Fruit usually a drupe, rarely an achene, enveloped by an enlarged calyx and/or immersed in a fleshy receptacle, often joined into a syncarp. Seed solitary; endosperm present or absent.
Economically, the most important species are those of Morus and Maclura associated with the production of silk. Some species in Broussonetia, Maclura, and Morus are important for paper making; some species in Artocarpus, Ficus, and Morus have edible fruit; and some species of Artocarpus and Broussonetia are used for furniture or timber.
Between 37 and 43 genera and 1100–1400 species: widespread in tropical and subtropical areas, less common in temperate areas; nine genera and 144 species (26 endemic, five introduced) in China.
(Authors: Zhou Zhekun (周浙昆) ; Michael G. Gilbert)
Zhou Zhekun -- Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Heilongtan, Kunming, Yunnan 650204, People’s Republic of China.
Michael G. Gilbert -- Missouri Botanical Garden, c/o Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AE, England, United Kingdom.
Chang Siushih, Wu Chengyih & Cao Ziyu. 1998. Moroideae. In: Chang Siushih & Wu Chengyih, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 23(1): 1–219.