Chase, Mark W. Molecular Systematics Section, Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, Surrey, United Kingdom.
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An order of flowering plants (angiosperms) in the asterid I group of the eudicotyledons consisting of around 6 families and almost 1000 species. Like many asterids of the asterid II group, Dipsacales have an inferior ovary and opposite leaves. They also have fewer stamens than petals (or petal lobes), and the flowers are often bilaterally symmetric or of irregular symmetry. Family limits have changed recently as a result of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequence studies, but the species content of the order is still similar to previous systems of classification. The flowers are typically arranged in heads, similar to those of their close relatives in Asterales and Apiales, but the ovary often contains more than one seed (reduced to a single seed in Dipsacaceae and Valerianaceae). Familiar members of Dipsacales include elderberry (Sambucus, Adoxaceae), honeysuckle (Lonicera, Caprifoliaceae), and teasel (Dipsacus, Dipsacaceae). Viburnum (Adoxaceae) and Abelia (Linnaeaceae) are commonly planted ornamental shrubs. See also: Asterales; Magnoliophyta; Plant kingdom
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