Genera : 7-8

Species: 900


Links to Genus Directory of Images:


Distribution: Widespread in the tropics and subtropics, with some species in temperate regions.

Economic Uses: The leaves of some species and the tubers of others are eaten, while the fruit of one species is produced ecomonically as the 'star fruit'. The distinctive tripartate leaves are the source of the Irish 'shamrock'.

Defining Features of Interest: The leaves of many species droop or fold in the evening or in cool weather and reopen in the morning.

Fossil Evidence: No known fossil record.