views updated

diapensia (dīəpĕn´sēə), common name for the Diapensiaceae, a family of low evergreen shrubs native to cool and arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The species that are restricted to the New World are found in the E United States. Galax is native to woods from Virginia to Georgia; it has spikes of white blossoms (and is sometimes called wandflower), and its leaves are often used as greens by florists. The pyxie or flowering moss (Pyxidanthera barbulata), is a creeping plant of the pine barrens. The diapensia family is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Diapensiales.