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a family of dicotyledonous plants; shrubs or low trees with alternate leaves. The flowers are unisexual, regular, usually very fragrant, and gathered into racemose or paniculate inflorescences. The calyx and corolla are five-membered; the ovary is superior and three-celled; the fruit is a capsule There are two genera: Schizocardia, with one species native to British Honduras, and Clethra. Clethraceae are cultivated as ornamentals in greenhouses and in southern regions outdoors.