Chase, Mark W. Molecular Systematics Section, Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, Surrey, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:January 2021
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An order of flowering plants (angiosperms) in the eurosid I group of the rosid dicots. The order is previously unrecognized in classifications of the angiosperms, but is indicated by numerous studies of DNA sequences. Oxalidales consist of five small families: Cephalotaceae (one species), Connaraceae (300 species of tropical trees and vines), Cunoniaceae (250 species of trees and shrubs mostly from the Southern Hemisphere), Elaeocarpaceae (350 species of trees and shrubs from the Southern Hemisphere and Asian tropics), and Oxalidaceae (350 species, mostly in Oxalis, mainly herbs that are found throughout the world). Like many of the other newly defined orders based on studies of DNA sequences, Oxalidales are heterogeneous in their morphological traits; some are bizarre, such as the Cephalotus (Cephalotaceae), a carnivorous pitcher plant from Australia. Many species of the order are locally economically important, producing timbers and fruits, including zebrawood (Connarus, Connaraceae), star fruit (Averrhoa, Oxalidaceae), and lightwood (Ceratopetalum and Eucryphia, Cunoniaceae). Oxalis (Oxalidaceae) has some species that are grown as ornamentals and several that are noxious introduced weeds. See also: Magnoliophyta; Magnoliopsida; Ornamental plants; Pitcher plant; Rosidae; Weeds
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