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The herbs, shrubs, and trees of the Dogbane family have opposite leaves (rarely alternate) and a milky, latex sap. Most are poisonous to some degree. The flowers are bisexual and regular, with 5 united sepals, 5 united petals, and 5 stamens. Stamens attach at the base of the petals, alternate with the lobes. The ovary is positioned wholly or mostly superior. It consists of 2 carpels, usually separate in North American genera, united only at the styles. Each carpel matures as a separate follicle, a dry, pod-like fruit with a seam down one side. There are many seeds, often with a tuft of hair attached at one end. Some genera produce berries or capsules.
Key Words: Plants with opposite leaves and milky juice. Tubular flowers with parts in fives.
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