Characters.—Flowers unisexual, amentaceous. Stamens distinct or monadelphons; anthers 2-celled. Ovary superior, 1-celled; ovules numerous, erect, at the base of the cell, or adhering to the lower part of the sides; style 1 or 0, stigmas 2 or 4. Fruit coriaceous, 1-celled, 2 valved, many-seeded. Seeds either adhering to the lower part of the axis of each valve, or to the base of the cell; comose; albumen 0; embryo erect; radicle inferior.—Trees or shrubs. Leaves alternate, simple, with deliquescent primary veins, and frequently with glands; stipules deciduous or persistent (Lindley).
Properties.—The barks of the species of this order are astringent and tonic; the astringency being due to tannic acid, the tonic property to salicine or some other bitter principle. An oleo-resinous or balsamic substance, of a stimulant nature, is secreted by the buds of some of the species.
The Elements of Materia Medica and Therapeutics, Vol. II, 3th American ed., was written by Jonathan Pereira in 1853.