Steinmann, Victor W.
December 2002
Acta Botanica Mexicana;2002, Issue 61, p61
Academic Journal
It is estimated that in Mexico the Euphorbiaceae are represented by 43 genera and 782 species. In addition, there are 32 infraspecific taxa: 8 subspecies and 24 varieties. A preliminary list of the taxa is provided. The most diverse genera are Euphorbia (241 spp., 31%), Croton (124 spp., 16%), Acalypha (108 spp., 14%), Jatropha (48 spp., 6%), and Phyllanthus (41 spp., 5%). Together, these represent 72% of the species present in Mexico. There is one endemic genus, Enriquebeltrania. It is estimated that 57% of the Mexican species are endemic to the country. Employing the concept of Megamexico, 78% of the species are endemic. There are ten introduced species and one introduced genus (Ricinus). Within the country, the family is most diverse along the Pacific and Atlantic slopes. At the level of genus, the Mexican Euphorbiaceae show a strong affinity with Central and South America. At the level of species, most Mexican Euphorbiaceae are endemic, but of the species that are not, 200 also occur in Central America, 138 in the United States, 85 in South America, and 55 in the Antilles. Almost no Mexican species are found naturally in the Old World. Despite their great systematic and floristic importance, an adequate understanding of the Mexican Euphorbiaceae is still lacking.


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