views updated

Cercidiphyllaceae (order Hamamelidales) A monotypic family, Cercidiphyllum japonicum (katsura tree), a large, deciduous tree, closely related to the Magnoliaceae. The leaves are simple, opposite or alternate, with stipules. The flowers are unisexual, with 4 perianth parts, and the plants are dioecious. The fruits are follicles. Over 30 m tall, and an important source of fine-grained timber, it produces striking yellow and orange autumn foliage. The family is native to Japan and China.