Barkley, Theodore M. Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.
An order of flowering plants, division Magnoliophyta (Angiospermae), in the subclass Hamamelidae of the class Magnoliopsida (dicotyledons). The order consists of a single family with but one genus, Daphniphyllum, containing about 35 species. All are dioecious trees or shrubs native to eastern Asia and the Malay region. The plants produce a unique type of alkaloid (daphniphylline group); they often accumulate aluminum and sometimes produce iridoid compounds. The wood has vessels with scalariform perforations. The leaves are simple and entire, alternate or sometimes closely clustered at the ends of the branches. The flowers are small and inconspicuous, unisexual, regular, and hypogynous. Usually there are 2–6 sepals, or sometimes the sepals are absent; petals are lacking. The pollen is triaperturate, and the pistil has 2(–4) united carpels. Daphniphyllum has sometimes been included in the Euphorbiales of the subclass Rosidae, but structural details such as the very tiny embryo make it highly aberrant there. See also: Hamamelidae; Magnoliopsida; Plant kingdom
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