Cronquist, Arthur Formerly, New York Botanical Garden, New York, New York.
Barkley, Theodore M. Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.
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A small order of flowering plants [subclass Hamamelidae, class Magnoliopsida (dicotyledons), division Magnoliophyta (Angiospermae)], but whose members are now more typically redistributed across various plant orders. The order Hamamelidales has been subject to a taxonomic reorganization and its members have been redistributed into a number of other orders, including the Saxifragales and Proteales. In earlier classification schemes, the order Hamamelidales was dominated by two families: Hamamelidaceae (containing about 140 species) and Platanaceae (containing about 7 species); the other 3 families had only 2 species each. Within its subclass, the order Hamamelidales was notable for being more advanced than the Trochodendrales in having vessels in the wood; however, it was less advanced than the other orders in that the gynoecium consisted either of separate carpels or of united carpels that open at maturity to release the seeds. Witch hazel (Hamamelis; see illustration), sweet gum (Liquidambar, family Hamamelidaceae), and the plane tree or sycamore (Platanus) are familiar members. See also: Hamamelidae; Magnoliophyta; Magnoliopsida; Plant kingdom; Proteales; Saxifragales; Trochodendrales
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