Gelaceae family

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Gelaceae family
Gale shrub (Myrica gale), female plant with unripe fruits

Gale shrub ( Myrica gale ), female plant with unripe fruits

Nuclear eudicotyledons
Eurosiden I
Order : Beech-like (Fagales)
Family : Gelaceae family
Scientific name
Rich. ex Kunth

The Gagelstrauchgewächse (Myricaceae) are a family of plants from the order of the beech-like (Fagales). The three or four genera with a total of about 57 species that have ranges almost worldwide, except in Australia .


Gail bush ( Myrica gale ), illustration: male and female plants and flowers

Vegetative characteristics

All species are woody plants: trees or shrubs . They are evergreen or deciduous. They smell aromatic and often contain resin. They usually have shield-shaped, multicellular glandular hairs.

The alternate and spirally arranged leaves are fragrant and aromatic and are divided into a petiole and a leaf blade. The leaf blades are usually simple and entire or, more rarely, irregularly serrate to lobed, only the only type of the monotypical genus Comptonia has deeply indented leaf blades. Stipules are usually missing.

Generative characteristics

The plant species are single- sexed ( monoecious ) or dioecious ( dioecious ). The lateral, spiky inflorescences are simple or compound and often look like the catkins of the other beech- like. The mostly unisexual flowers are reduced. Bracts are missing. The male flowers are each individually above a bract and usually contain four to eight (one to 20) stamens with thin, short, free or at most fused stamens at their base and upright anthers. The female flowers are individually or in pairs to four over a bracts and usually two to four cover pages and include two carpels , to a mostly single-chamber ovary grown, the only one basal, erect, orthotropic ovule has. There is at most a short stylus and always two scars.

The drupes or nuts are smooth or covered with warts, which often have a wax layer. The endocarp is hard. The fruits are sometimes encased in durable bracts and bracts. The seeds contain almost no endosperm and the straight embryo has two fleshy, plano-convex cotyledons ( cotyledons ).


There is a symbiosis of roots with nitrogen-fixing bacteria of the Frankia alni species .

The pollination is carried by the wind ( anemophily ).


The Myricaceae family was established in 1817 by Louis Claude Marie Richard in Karl Sigismund Kunth : Nova Genera et Species Plantarum , 4th edition, volume 2, p. 16. The type genus is Myrica . A synonym for Myricaceae Rich. ex Kunth is Galeaceae Bubani .

Comptonia peregrina : Habitus and deeply indented leaves in autumn.

There are three genera in the Myricaceae family, two of which are monotypical , with a total of about 57 species:

  • Comptonia L'Hér. ex Aiton : It contains only one species:
  • Canacomyrica Guillaumin : it contains only one species:
  • Myrica L. (Syn .: Gale Duhamel and, depending on the author, Morella Lour. ): The approximately 55 species are distributed almost worldwide, they are only absent in Australia and some warm-temperate areas of the Old World.

Since 2005, some botanists have divided the genus Myrica sl into two genera based on the structure of the catkins and fruits: In the genus Myrica s. st. Only a few species remain and most of the species fall into the genus Morella Lour. posed.


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Myricaceae at Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis
  2. ^ A b Myricaceae in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
  3. Valérie Huguet, Manolo Gouy, Philippe Normand, Jeff F. Zimpfer, Maria P. Fernandez: Molecular phylogeny of Myricaceae: a reexamination of host-symbiont specificity. In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution , Volume 34, Issue 3, 2005, pp. 557-568. doi : 10.1016 / j.ympev.2004.11.018
  4. ^ J. Herbert: New combinations and a new species in Morella (Myricaceae). In: Novon , 2005, pp. 293-295.
  5. Rosalina Berazaín Iturralde, Banessa Falcón Hidalgo: Two new combinations in Morella (Myricaceae) for species of the Cuban Flora. In: Willdenowia , Volume 41, Issue 1, 2011, S, 113-114.
  6. Chipem Vashi, Uma Shankar, Arvind K. Misra: A reinstatement and a new combination in Morella subgenus Morella (Myricaceae), with typification of Myrica integrifolia. In: Phytotaxa , Volume 299, Issue 2, March 21, 2017. doi : 10.11646 / phytotaxa.299.2.5

Web links

Commons : Gagelstrauchgewächse  - Collection of images, videos and audio files