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Dioecious trees; stems often swollen in upper half. Leaves very large, persistent but eventually falling to leave a bare trunk; petiole armed with irregular black teeth, varying greatly in size and shape; lamina palmate or costapalmate, divided into numerous usually bifid segments; leaf segments with conspicuous cross-veins and lacking black spots. Inflorescences axillary. Male inflorescences composed of 3-6 partial inflorescences the branches of which terminate in 3 or more cylindric flower-bearing branches, each bearing pits enclosing a cincinnus of male flowers. Male flowers: sepals 3; corolla 3-lobed; stamens 6. Female inflorescence different to the male; simple or with 1-2 branches, each bearing large connate bracts with a solitary female flower in each axis. Female flowers: sepals 3; petals 3, similar to sepals; staminodes 6; ovary spherical, 3-locular. Fruit rounded, containing 1-3 pyrenes, with stigmatic remains borne at the apex.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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