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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/19/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 7/19/2013)
Family BUXACEAE
Contributor ALWYN H. GENTRY
Description Trees, shrubs, or rarely herbs, monoecious or dioecious, usually glabrous, sometimes pubescent with simple trichomes. Leaves opposite or alternate, simple, usually entire, pinnately veined or 3-veined from the base, usually coriaceous, exstipulate. Inflorescence spicate to racemose, usually congested, axillary, bracteate. Flowers without petals; male flowers usually with 4 separate sepals and 4-6(-many) stamens, when 4, borne opposite sepals, the filaments lacking to conspicuous, the anthers often dorsifixed, 2-locular, longitudinally dehiscent or dehiscing by valves; female flowers usually few and larger than the male, the sepals 4-6, the ovary superior, 3-locular, the styles usually conspicuous, the ovules 1-2 per locule, pendulous, anatropous, with a ventral raphe. Fruit a loculicidally dehiscing capsule or drupe, the styles usually persistent and conspicuous, 1-few- seeded; seeds with endosperm, often black and shining, the embryo straight with flat or thick cotyledons.
Habit Trees, shrubs, or rarely herbs
Note A mostly north temperate family of 5 genera and about 100 species, the Buxaceae are usually allied to the Euphorbiaceae and sometimes reduced to a tribe of that family. They are placed in Hamamelidales by Hutchinson (1967). Two small New World genera, Styloceras (3 species of the northern Andes) and Simmondsia (1 species of the southwestern United States and adjacent Mexico) are accorded familial recognition by Airy Shaw (1966) and allied respectively with Didymeleaceae and Monimiaceae. The family has some economic importance. Buxus sempervirenrs L. provides a dense compact wood and is much used as an ornamental hedge in formal gardens. Pachysandra is used horticulturally as a ground cover. Styloceras pro- vides a potentially useful timber and the seeds of Simmondsia or jojoba are rich in natural wax with industrial possibilities.
Reference Airy Shaw, H. K. 1966. J. C. Willis. A Dictionary of the Flowering Plants and Ferns. Ed. 7. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge. Baillon, H. 1859. Monographie des Buxacees et des Stylocerees. Librairie de Victor Masson, Paris. Baldwin, J. & Collaborators. 1965. The relatives of Buxus. Boxwood Bull. 5: 17-36. Hutchinson, J. 1967. The Genera of Flowering Plants. Vol. 2. Clarendon Press, Oxford. Mathou, T. 1940. Recherches sur la famille des Buxacees, etude anatomique, microchimique et systematique. Douladoure, Toulouse.
 
 
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