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A family of dicotyledonous trees or shrubs in the order Scrophulariales characterized by a corolla with mostly five lobes, mature seeds with little or no endosperm and with wings, and opposite or whorled leaves.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a family of dicotyledonous plants, close to the family Scrophulariaceae. They are trees, shrubs, lianas, and, more rarely, grasses. The leaves are mostly opposite, and many plants have compound leaves. The flowers are bisexual, fairly large, zygomorphic, often brightly colored, and gathered in paniculate, umbellate, or other sorts of clusters; single flowers are rare. The calyx and corolla are pentamerous. There are generally four developed stamens (the fifth is transformed into a staminode); the pistil consists of two carpels, and there is an upper, bilocular ovary. The fruit is a pod. There are approximately 120 genera and 800 species, mainly in tropical and subtropical lands, especially in South America. In the USSR there are two species of wild Bignoniaceae of the genus Incarvillea (one in Middle Asia and one in the Far East), and one monotypic endemic genus Niedzwedzkia, which grows in Middle Asia. Some Bignoniaceae are raised in the USSR as decorative plants, including lianas from the genera Bignonia, Tecomaria, and Campsis and catalpa and paulownia trees. The Bignoniaceae having the greatest practical value are the South American calabash tree Crescentia and species of the genus Jacaranda, which yield the valuable rosewood.


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


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.