Moraceae — often called the mulberry family or fig family — are a family of flowering plant
Flowering plant
The flowering plants , also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants like the gymnosperms and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of synapomorphies...

s comprising about 40 genera and over 1000 species. Most are widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, less so in temperate climates. The only synapomorphy
In cladistics, a synapomorphy or synapomorphic character is a trait that is shared by two or more taxa and their most recent common ancestor, whose ancestor in turn does not possess the trait. A synapomorphy is thus an apomorphy visible in multiple taxa, where the trait in question originates in...

 within Moraceae is presence of laticifer
A laticifer is a type of elongated secretory cell found in the leaves and/or stems of plants that produce latex and rubber as secondary metabolites. Laticifers may be articulated, i.e., composed of a series of cells joined together, or non-articulated, consisting of one long cell...

s and milky sap
Sap may refer to:* Plant sap, the fluid transported in xylem cells or phloem sieve tube elements of a plant* Sap , a village in the Dunajská Streda District of Slovakia...

 in all parenchymatous tissues, but generally useful field characters include two carpels
Gynoecium is most commonly used as a collective term for all carpels in a flower. A carpel is the ovule and seed producing reproductive organ in flowering plants. Carpels are derived from ovule-bearing leaves which evolved to form a closed structure containing the ovules...

 sometimes with one reduced, compound inconspicuous flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

s, and compound fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

s. Included are well-known plants such as the fig
Common fig
The Common fig is a deciduous tree growing to heights of up to 6 m in the genus Ficus from the family Moraceae known as Common fig tree. It is a temperate species native to the Middle East.-Description:...

, banyan
Ficus benghalensis
Ficus benghalensis, the banyan, is a large and extensive growing tree of the Indian subcontinent. Ficus benghalensis produces propagating roots which grow downwards as aerial roots. Once these roots reach the ground, they grow into woody trunks that can become indistinguishable from the main...

, breadfruit
Breadfruit is a species of flowering tree in the mulberry family, Moraceae, growing throughout Southeast Asia and most Pacific Ocean islands...

, mulberry, and Osage-orange. The 'flowers' of Moraceae are often pseudanthia
A pseudanthium or flower head is a special type of inflorescence, in which several flowers are grouped together to form a flower-like structure. The real flowers are generally small and greatly reduced, but can sometimes be quite large...

 (reduced inflorescence
An inflorescence is a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem that is composed of a main branch or a complicated arrangement of branches. Strictly, it is the part of the shoot of seed plants where flowers are formed and which is accordingly modified...



Formerly positioned within the now defunct order Urticales
Urticales is a botanical name for what used to be an order of flowering plants. Before molecular phylogenetics became an important part of plant taxonomy, Urticales was recognized in many, perhaps even most, systems of plant classification, with some variations in circumscription...

, recent genetic studies have resulted in its placement within Rosales
Rosales is an order of flowering plants. It is one of the four orders in the nitrogen fixing clade of the fabids and is sister to a clade consisting of Fagales and Cucurbitales. It contains about 7700 species, distributed into about 260 genera. Rosales comprises nine families, the type family...

 in a clade called the urticalean rosids that also includes Ulmaceae
Ulmaceae is a family of flowering plant that includes the elms , and the zelkovas . Members of the family are widely distributed throughout the north temperate zone, and have a scattered distribution elsewhere except for Australasia.The family was formerly sometimes treated to include the...

, Celtidaceae, Cannabaceae
Cannabaceae are a small family of flowering plants. As now circumscribed, the family includes about 170 species grouped in about 11 genera, including Cannabis , Humulus and Celtis...

 and Urticaceae
Urticaceae, or the nettle family, is a family of flowering plants. The family name comes from the genus Urtica . Urticaceae includes a number of well-known and useful plants, including the aforementioned nettles, Ramie , māmaki , and ajlai .The family includes approximately 2600 species, grouped...

. Cecropia
Cecropia is a Neotropical genus presently consisting of sixty-one recognized species with a highly distinctive lineage of dioecious trees....

, which were variously placed in Moraceae, Urticaceae, or their own family Cecropicaceae, have turned out to belong in Urticaceae.

Moraceae dioecy evolves from monoecy, dioecy was the primitive state in Moraceae and monoecy evolved within in it up to four times.


Tribe Artocarpeae
Artocarpeae is a tribe within the plant family Moraceae. It includes 7 to 12 genera and 70 to 87 species including Artocarpus altilis, the breadfruit.-Description:...

  • Artocarpus
    Artocarpus is a genus of about 60 trees of Southeast Asian origin and the Pacific, belonging to the mulberry family, Moraceae.-Description:...

    - Breadfruit
    Breadfruit is a species of flowering tree in the mulberry family, Moraceae, growing throughout Southeast Asia and most Pacific Ocean islands...

    , Jackfruit
    The jackfruit is a species of tree in the Artocarpus genus of the mulberry family . It is native to parts of Southern and Southeast Asia. It is the national fruit of Bangladesh, . The jackfruit tree is believed to be indigenous to the southwestern rain forests of India...

  • Batocarpus
  • Clarisia
  • Hullettia
  • Parartocarpus
  • Prainea
  • Treculia
    Treculia is a genus of trees in the Moraceae plant family that is native to southern Africa and Madagascar. The best-known member of the genus, Treculia africana, commonly known as the African breadfruit, is used as a food plant....

Tribe Castilleae
Castilleae is a tribe within the plant family Moraceae. It includes 8–11 genera and 55–60 species including Castilla, the Panama rubber tree....

  • Antiaris
    Antiaris is a tropical genus of latex producing evergreen trees in the Moraceae or fig family.Some species include:*Antiaris africana Engl., an economic hardwood of Africa, an African species which grows in the drier forests of the tropics....

  • Antiaropsis
  • Castilla
    Castilla (plant)
    Castilla is a tree genus belonging to the family Moraceae found native in Central America. It is named after Juan Diego del Castillo Castilla (sometimes incorrectly spelled Castilloa) is a tree genus belonging to the family Moraceae found native in Central America. It is named after Juan Diego...

  • Helicostylis
    Helicostylis is a genus of plant in family Moraceae.Species include:* Helicostylis heterotricha, Ducke* Helicostylis tomentosa, Rusby...

  • Maquira
  • Mesogyne
    Mesogyne is a genus of plant in family Moraceae . The genus is found in east Africa.Species include:* Mesogyne henriquesii * Mesogyne insignis, Engl....

  • Naucleopsis
    Naucleopsis is a genus of plant in family Moraceae.Species include:* Naucleopsis chiguila, Benoist* Naucleopsis oblongifolia, Carauta...

  • Perebia
  • Poulsenia
    Poulsenia is a monotypic genus of plants in the family Moraceae, native to rainforests from Mexico south through Venezuela to Bolivia. The only species is P. armata. Unlike any other Neotropical Moraceae, the leaves and twigs of Poulsenia are covered in small prickles...

  • Pseudolmedia
    Pseudolmedia is a flowering plant genus in the mulberry family . They are known in Latin America as lechechiva and used for timber, construction wood, and sometimes in folk medicine.Species include:...

  • Sparattosyce

Tribe Dorstenieae
Dorstenieae is a tribe within the plant family Moraceae. The tribe includes eight genera and about 120 species.-Genera:*Brosimum - Breadnut*Bosqueiopsis*Dorstenia*Helianthostylis*Scyphosyce*Trilepisium*Trymatococcus...

  • Brosimum
    Brosimum is a genus of plants in the mulberry family, Moraceae, native to tropical regions of the Americas.The Breadnut was used by the Maya civilization for its edible nut. The dense vividly colored scarlet wood of Satine Bloodwood is used for decorative woodworking...

    - Breadnut
    Breadnut can refer to* Brosimum alicastrum, also known as "Maya nut" or ramón* Artocarpus camansi, a close relative of the breadfruit...

  • Bosqueiopsis
  • Dorstenia
    Dorstenia is a genus of about 105 species in the Moraceae plant family. Most species are Neotropical or Afrotropical, with a single species in India, Sri Lanka and the island of Socotra ....

  • Helianthostylis
  • Scyphosyce
  • Trilepisium
    Trilepisium is a genus of plant in family Moraceae.Species include:* Trilepisium gymnandrum, J.Gerlach...

  • Trymatococcus
  • Utsetela

Tribe Ficeae
  • Ficus
    Ficus is a genus of about 850 species of woody trees, shrubs, vines, epiphytes, and hemiepiphyte in the family Moraceae. Collectively known as fig trees or figs, they are native throughout the tropics with a few species extending into the semi-warm temperate zone. The Common Fig Ficus is a genus of...

    - Fig trees, Banyan
    A banyan is a fig that starts its life as an epiphyte when its seeds germinate in the cracks and crevices on a host tree...


Tribe Moreae
Moreae is a tribe within the plant family Moraceae. It includes 6–10 genera and 70–80 species including Morus, the genus the includes the mulberries, and Maclura, the genus that includes the Osage orange....

  • Bagassa
    Bagassa guianensis is a tree in the plant family Moraceae which is native to the Guianas and Brazil. It is valued as a timber tree and as a food tree for wildlife...

  • Bleekrodea
  • Broussonetia
    Broussonetia is a genus of four species of trees in the family Moraceae, native to eastern Asia.-References:*...

    - Paper Mulberry
    Paper Mulberry
    The Paper Mulberry is a tree in the family Moraceae, native to eastern Asia. Other names include Dak, Halibun, Kalivon, Kozo, and Tapacloth tree.It is a deciduous tree growing to tall...

  • Fatoua
  • Maclura
    Maclura is a genus of flowering plants in the mulberry family, Moraceae. It includes the inedible Osage-orange, which is used as mosquito repellent and grown throughout the United States as a hedging plant.- Species :* Maclura africana...

    - Osage-orange
  • Milicia
    Milicia (genus)
    Milicia is a small genus of tropical African trees. There are two recognized species, which are closely related: Milicia excelsa and Milicia regia.. These trees yield a durable wood, iroko....

  • Morus - Mulberry
  • Sorocea
    Sorocea is a genus of plant in family Moraceae.Species include:* Sorocea guilleminiana, Gaudichaud* Sorocea sarcocarpa, Lanj. & Wess. Boer...

  • Streblus
    Streblus is a genus of flowering plant in the mulberry family, Moraceae.*Streblus asper Lour. - Siamese rough bush*Streblus banksii*Streblus brunonianus*Streblus elongatus*Streblus heterophyllus...

  • Trophis
    Trophis is a genus in the plant family Moraceae which includes about nine species, six of which are Neotropical and three which are Palaeotropical.Recent work suggests that the genus is polyphyletic....

External Reference

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