The trees, shrubs, and herbs in this genus are native to Central and South America. They are grown for their palmate, sometimes very showy, foliage and for their edible roots. Tapioca and cassava are both derived from Manihot species. Some of the 100-160 species are grown agriculturally for such things as making glue or composite board, or as a base for alcoholic drinks.
CareProvide moist to wet, fertile soil. Tolerates poor soil if it is well-drained.