Myrtaceae

 
 

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Genera : 100 -150

Species: 3000 - 3500

Distribution: Pantropically, but concentrated in Australia. Planted extensively in the world's mediterranean climates.

 

Economic Uses: As spices and flavorings (eucalyptus, allspice and clove) and as ornamentals.

Defining Features of Interest: The family contains oil bearing glands that impart an especially strong scent to the leaves.

Fossil Evidence: Fossil plant parts from the Upper Cretaceous and the Tertiary.

Defining Morphology

Floral Features : Actinomorphic and perfect (rarely unisexual). Inflorescence as solitary flowers or in cymes or racemes. Epigynous or perigynous with an hypanthium present.

Fruit and Seed Features : Fruit a berry, drupe or a loculicidal capsule, or nut. Seed lacking endosperm. Placentation is axile or parietal.

Vegetative Features : Habit as shrubs or trees. Leaves are simple, entire and alternate, opposite or whorled. Stipules are lacki