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Native Plant Trust: Go Botany Discover thousands of New England plants

Family: Myrsinaceae — marlberry family

Our species in the family are annual or perennial herbs with leaves that may grow in an alternate, opposite, or whorled fashion. The leaves are simple and they may or may not have petioles. The flowers are arranged in branching arrays growing at the ends of stems or from the junction of leaf and stem, or they may be solitary. The flowers are actinomorphic (radially symmetrical) and have both pollen-bearing and ovule-bearing parts. There are 4-9 sepals fused together at the base, and 4-9 petals, also usually fused, attach below the ovary (i.e., the ovary is superior). The petals in most species spread horizontally (or nearly so) from the base (the flower is "rotate"). There usually 5 stamens that are positioned opposite the petals and 1 style with 1 stigma. The fruit may be a dry capsule or a fleshy drupe containing 1-45 brown, black, or white seeds. New England's species in the Myrsinaceae were formerly placed in the Primulaceae.

This family’s genera in New England

Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key