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Description from Flora of China

Trees or shrubs deciduous. Buds sessile, with several overlapping scales. Leaves often glandular punctate abaxially, usually serrate or dentate, rarely lobulate. Male inflorescence pendulous, elongate, cylindric, with numerous overlapping bracts, each bract subtending 2 bracteoles and 3 flowers; calyx 4-lobed; stamens 2; anthers 2-loculed; thecae connate, apex pubescent or glabrous. Female inflorescence 1, or 2-several in a raceme, spicate, ellipsoid, or cylindric; bracts numerous, overlapping, leathery, deciduous, apex deeply 3-lobed, each bract subtending 3 flowers. Nutlet compressed, usually with membranous wings.

Between 50 and 60 species: Afghanistan, China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Russia, Sikkim; Europe, North and South America; 32 species (14 endemic) in China.

Lower Taxa


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