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(rue), a family of dicotyledonous plants including trees, shrubs, and, less commonly, herbs. The leaves are most often alternate, simple or compound, and exstipulate. They usually have pellucid dots—glandules containing essential oil. The flowers are mostly bisexual and regular, and the perianth is four- or five-parted (rarely two- or three-parted). The number of stamens is usually two or more times as many as that of the petals. The gynoecium has four or five carpels. (Less commonly there are one to three or numerous carpels.)
There are about 150 genera of rue, embracing 1,600 species. They are found predominantly in tropical and subtropical zones, especially in Southern Africa and Australia. The USSR has 40 species, belonging to five genera. They include the Amur cork tree (Phellodendron amurense), common rue (Ruta graveolens), and dittany (Dictamnus). Of the greatest practical significance are the citrus crops and medicinal plants, such as species of the genera Pilocarpus, Barosma, and Pagara. Some tropical species, such as satinwood (Chloroxylon swietenia), yield valuable lumber.