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a family of dicotyledonous plants, including trees, shrubs, subshrubs, lianas, and grasses. The leaves, which have smooth or toothed margins, are opposite or often verticillate; they have stipules that often resemble leaves. The regular flowers, which are usually bisexual, are tetramerous or pentamerous; they grow in cymose inflorescences or, less often, are solitary. The calyx usually is gamophyllous and poorly developed. The corolla is gamopetalous. The plants have an equal number of stamens and corolla lobes. The fruit is a pod or a two-seeded unit; less commonly it is baccate or drupaceous. There are 500 genera, with 6,500 species, distributed worldwide, mainly in the tropics and subtropics. Thirteen genera, with approximately 200 species, are found in the USSR. The family Rubiaceae includes the Coffea, various medicinal plants (Cinchona, ipecac), dye plants (Rubia, Morinda), ornamentals (Gardenia, Bouvardia), tannin-yielding plants, and other commercially important plants.