birch family

birch family

noun
the plant family Betulaceae, characterized by deciduous trees having simple serrate leaves, male flowers in drooping catkins, female flowers in short clusters, and one-seeded nuts, and including the alder, birch, hazel, and hornbeam.
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birch family

birch family of flowering plants, usually placed in the order Fagales; some authorities, however, have placed the family in the order Betulales. The family contains six genera and 120-150 species. It can be divided into two subfamilies: Betuloideae, with the genera Betula (birch) and Alnus (alder); and Coryloideae, with the genera Carpinus (hornbeam), Corylus (hazel, or filbert), Ostrya, and Ostryopsis.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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