Myricaceae


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Myricaceae

[‚mir·ə′kās·ē‚ē]
(botany)
The single family of the plant order Myricales.

Myricaceae

 

a family of dicotyledonous plants, including evergreen and deciduous bushes and low trees, growing on acid swampy soils and in coastal regions. The leaves are sequential and simple; they range from solid forms with large or small teeth to feathery incised forms, usually lacking stipules. Most forms have aromatic glands that secrete a waxy substance. Their roots have nodules containing nitrogen-fixing bacteria. The flowers are usually unisexual and small, and they lack perianths. They are bunched like catkins. The fruit is small, olive-shaped, and covered with glandules or an abundant waxy coating.

The family has three genera and about 60 species, found extensively in moderate and subtropical regions of both hemispheres (except Australia). In the USSR there are two species of the genus Myrica. Members of the family Myricaceae are frequently uncovered in Cretaceous and later rock deposits. The fruits of some types are used for so-called vegetable wax, food, or medicinal substances. Some are employed in fixing sandy soils and bringing greenery to marshy areas.

REFERENCE

Takhtadzhian, A. L. Sistema i filogeniia tsvetkovykh rastenii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.

M. E. KIRPICHNIKOV