▪ plant 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) (birch) and Alnus (alder); and Coryloideae, with the genera Carpinus (hornbeam), Corylus (hazel, or filbert), Ostrya, and Ostryopsis.

      The genus Betula, with approximately 60 species, is the largest in the family. Members of the family are distributed in temperate and subarctic areas of the Northern Hemisphere, where some reach the northern limit of woody plants; in tropical mountains; and in South America through the Andes as far south as Argentina.

      The Betulaceae have simple, serrate, alternate leaves. Male and female flowers are borne on the same plant, appearing before or with the leaves. The male flowers are borne in long, pendulous catkins; the female in shorter, pendulous or erect catkins. The fruit is usually a small nut or a short-winged samara.

      The birches and alders produce timber of considerable economic importance. Corylus is the source of the filbert, or hazelnut. Oil of betula, obtained from birch twigs, smells and tastes like wintergreen and is used in tanning Russian leather. A number of species are valued as ornamentals.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Betulaceae — Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa) Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae …   Wikipedia

  • Betulaceae — n. 1. a natural family of monoecious trees and shrubs, including the genera {Betula}; {Alnus}; {Carpinus}; {Corylus}; {Ostrya}; and {Ostryopsis}. Syn: family {Betulaceae}, birch family. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Betulaceae — (Birkengewächse), Pflanzenfamilie aus der Klasse der Kätzchenblüthler (Juliflorae), Bäume u. Sträucher, mit zerstreuten, nicht gegliederten Ästen, abwechselnden, einfachen, fiedernervigen, gezähnten od. gesägten Blättern, einhäusigen Blüthen, in… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Betulaceae — Betulaceae,   Betulazeen, die Birkengewächse …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Betulaceae — Betulaceae …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Betulaceae — Birkengewächse Sandbirke (Betula pendula), Illustration Systematik Abteilung: Bedeck …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Betulaceae — La família de las Betulaceae es una familia de plantas dicotiledóneas que comprende 157 especies repartidas en 6 géneros. Estos son árboles o arbustos de regiones templadas y de zonas de montaña en los trópicos …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Betulaceae — noun monoecious trees and shrubs (including the genera Betula and Alnus and Carpinus and Corylus and Ostrya and Ostryopsis) • Syn: ↑family Betulaceae, ↑birch family • Derivationally related forms: ↑betulaceous • Hypernyms: ↑hamamelid dicot family …   Useful english dictionary

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