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ginseng family

the ginseng family of flowering plants, in the order Apiales, comprising approximately 700 species centred in Southeast Asia and tropical America. Most members are shrubs or trees, though there are a number of climbers and a few herbs. The family has large, usually alternate, compound leaves, five-parted flowers arranged in compound umbels (flat-topped clusters), and a berry or (rarely) a drupe (a one-seeded fruit). Several members of the family are economically important. Ivies (Hedera species) are grown as ornamental plants and houseplants. The rice-paper plant (Tetrapanax papyriferum) is the source of rice paper, and the wood of several species, especially that of Dendropanax arboreum and several members of the genus Didymopanax, provides timber

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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