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Omphalea triandra - Loddiges.jpg
Omphalea triandra
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Subfamily: Acalyphoideae
Tribe: Omphaleae
Genus: Omphalea

Omphalea bracteata
Omphalea brasiliensis
Omphalea celata
Omphalea diandra - Jamaica navelspurge
Omphalea grandifolia
Omphalea hypoleuca
Omphalea malayana
Omphalea megacarpa
Omphalea oleifera
Omphalea queenslandiae
Omphalea sargentii
Omphalea triandra - Jamaican cobnut, pop nut
Omphalea tricocca
Omphalea oppositifolia - From Madagascar[1]
et al.

Omphalea is a plant genus of the family Euphorbiaceae and the only genus of its tribe (Omphaleae). It comprises 17 species, all of which are tropical shrubs, trees or lianas. Twelve of them are native to the Americas, 4 are endemic to Madagascar and 1 to Africa. They have monoecious, apetalous flowers and fleshy fruits with hard centers.[2]


Distribution of the four Madagascan species of Omphalea

The plants are toxic and few animals can eat them. Diurnal moths of the subfamily Uraniinae feed on them. These moths are species of the genus Urania in the Americas, and of the genus Chrysiridia in Africa.

Old World species[edit]

The single African species from Tanzania is O. mansfeldiana Mildbraed, a liana. The Madagascan species are O. ankaranensis, a shrub from the limestone karst of northern Madagascar, O. palmata Leandri, a dry forest shrub closely related to O. ankaranensis but from western Madagascar, O. occidentalis Leandri, also a dry forest species of western Madagascar, and O. oppositifilia (Willdenow), a tree from the east coast rainforest of Madagascar.[2]

The Madagascan sunset moth (Chrysiridia rhipheus) feeds on all four of these species.


This genus is also known as Duchola Adans., Hebecocca Beurl., Hecatea Thouars, Neomphalea Pax & K.Hoffm., Omphalandria P.Browne and Ronnowia Buc'hoz.


  1. ^ Schatz, George E. "Euphorbiaceae - Omphalea oppositifolia". MBG Images of Euphorbiaceae in Madagascar. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  2. ^ a b Gillespie, Lynn J. (1997). "Omphalea (Euphorbiaceae) in Madagascar: A New Species and a New Combination". Novon (St. Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden) 7 (2): 127–136. doi:10.2307/3392184. JSTOR 3392184. Lay summaryJSTOR.