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a family of dicotyledonous plants related to the family Ericaceae. They are evergreen rhizomic perennial grasses. The flowers are bisexual, regular, and gathered in clusters, umbels, or small shields, although they may sometimes occur singly. The perianth is binate, and there are five or four sepals or petals, either grown together or separate. There are ten (less often eight) separate stamens. The gynoecium has five carpels; the fruit is a pod with numerous tiny seeds. Four or five genera and about 45 species may be found in northern temperate and cold regions; they grow as far south as Mexico and the West Indies. In the USSR there are ten species from the genera Pyrola, Chimaphilia, and Moneses and two species from the genus Ramischia.