Barkley, Theodore M. Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.
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A small order of flowering plants, division Magnoliophyta (Angiospermae), in the subclass Dilleniidae of the class Magnoliopsida (dicotyledons). It consists of two small families and fewer than 20 species, of no economic significance. The plants are trees, shrubs, or subshrubs with simple, entire leaves and small, unisexual flowers. The perianth consists of small, separate or fused sepals with no petals. The stamens are four to numerous; the pistil has (1)2–many carpels, fused to form a plurilocular, superior ovary. The fruit is a dry, dehiscent nutlet or a drupe. The taxonomic disposition of the Batales has long been disputed, and it is often included in the Caryophyllidae. However, the presence of mustard oils as well as certain morphological features suggest that the order is best included near the Capparales in the Dilleniidae. See also: Capparales; Dilleniidae; Magnoliophyta; Plant kingdom
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