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The 11 species in this family of 4 genera are found in Madagascar (Mabberley 1987). They resemble certain cacti and cactiform Euphorbia L. species (fam. Euphorbiaceae) in habit.

The presence of solitary, paired, or fascicled spines on these plants renders them capable of causing mechanical injury.

Alluaudia Drake

The occurrence in members of this genus of branches armed with thorns has been noted by Menninger (1967). Stiles (1998) alludes to the spines present on Alluaudia ascendens Drake.


  • Mabberley DJ (1987) The Plant-Book. A portable dictionary of the higher plants. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Menninger EA (1967) Fantastic Trees. New York: Viking Press [WorldCat] [url]
  • Stiles D (1998)

Richard J. Schmidt

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