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(botany) A taxonomic family also known as the mulberry family or the fig family with members characterized by having lacticifers and milky sap in parenchymatous tissues


Moraceae is a taxonomic family of the order Rosales of the kingdom Plantae. It is also called the mulberry family or the fig family. There are about 1180 species that comprise this family.1 They are primarily characterized by the presence of lacticifers (i.e. an elongated secretory cell in leaves and stems of plants producing latex and rubber) and milky sap in parenchymatous tissues.

There are five tribes of the family Moraceae: (1) Artocarpeae, (2) Castilleae, (3) Dorstenieae, (4) Ficaea, and (5) Moreae. The Artocarpeae includes seven to twelve genera, e.g. Artocarpus, Batocarpus, Clarisia, Hullettia, etc. The Castilleae includes eleven genera such as Antiaris, Castilla;;, Helicostylis, Mesogyne, Naucleopsis, Perebea, Poulsenia, etc. The Dorstenieae includes eight genera, e.g. Brosimum, Dorstenia, Trilepsium, etc. Ficaea is a tribe with only one genus, i.e. Ficus. Moreae is a tibe that includes six to ten genera, e.g. Bagassa, Broussonetia, Maclura, Milicia, Morus, Sorocea, Streblus, Trophis, etc.

Word origin: Latin fīcus ‎(“fig”)

Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Rosales
  • Family: Moraceae
  • Tribe: Ficeae

Also called:

  • mulberry family
  • fig family

See also:

1 Christenhusz, M. J. M. and Byng, J. W. (2016). "The number of known plants species in the world and its annual increase". Phytotaxa. Magnolia Press. 261 (3): 201–217.