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a family of dicotyledonous plants that lack chlorophyll and that parasitize the roots and stems (trunks) of various plants. The vegetative organs are extremely reduced and often resemble fine cords or threads that are deeply implanted in the tissue of the host plant. Only short flower shoots with scaly leaves are aboveground. The mostly unisexual flowers range in size from small to unusually large; they are solitary or in inflorescences. The perianth is tetramerous or pen-tamerous, and there are many or few stamens. The gynoeceum consists of eight or four to six carpels; the ovary is usually inferior or half-inferior. The fruit is baccate.
The approximately 55 species, which make up nine genera, are found primarily in the tropics. The best-known genus is Rafflesia. The only representative of the Rafflesiaceae in the USSR belongs to the genus Cytinus and is found in Abkhazia.