Sytsma, K. J. Department of Botany, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
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An order of flowering plants, division Magnoliophyta (Angiospermae), in the superorder Rosanae (eudicotyledons). The order Fagales consists of 8 families: Betulaceae, Casuarinaceae, Fagaceae, Juglandaceae, Myricaceae, Nothofagaceae, Rhoipteleaceae, and Ticodendraceae (in some classifications, the Rhoipteleaceae family has been placed in the Juglandaceae, reducing the total to 7 families). There are at least 30 genera and more than 1000 species in the order, including many common trees found throughout the temperate regions of the world. Members of the Fagales are either simple or compound-leaved, woody plants. Flowers are mostly unisexual and much reduced for wind pollination. The female flowers produce one- or two-seeded nut fruits (for example, acorn, chestnut, and walnut), whereas the male flowers are grouped into pendant catkins (see illustration). Beech (Fagus), birch (Betula), oak (Quercus), and walnut (Juglans) are notable tree members of the Fagales. See also: Beech; Birch; Eudicotyledons; Magnoliophyta; Oak; Plant kingdom; Walnut
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