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Genus of the Week

Week of February 15-21

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This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources for a particular genus.
If you like this page, you should also visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes , a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family.

This week's genus:


Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Hamamelidae
Order: Trochodendrales
Family: Trochodendraceae
Number of Species: 1
Root: From the Greek trocho, meaning "round" (as in a wheel) and dendron, meaning "tree", probably a reference to the enormous trunk diameter of the genus (around 15 feet).

There is only one species within the genus Trochodendron: T. araliodes. This species is a small tree native to Japan and Thailand. The flowers of this tree have no sepals or petals, instead having repeated whorls of yellowish stamens surrounding the ovary. The wood of this species has no vessels (one type of water-transporting component in the xylem), a characteristic of the more primitive angiosperms.

Here are some links to images and information for the genus Trochodendron:


  1. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
  2. Raven, Peter H., Evert, Ray F. and Eichhorn, Susan E. Biology of Plants, fifth edition. New York, Worth Publishers: 1992.

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