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A family, mainly of shrubs, in which the leaves are simple, opposite, and decussate. The flowers are bisexual and zygomorphic, and the bracts are often showy. There are 4 or 5 fused sepals and petals; 2–4 epipetalous stamens; a superior, bilocular ovary; and numerous, axile (see placentation) ovules. The fruit is a capsule. There are several ornamentals (e.g. Acanthus, Aphelandra, and Thunbergia). There are 357 genera, comprising about 4350 species, most of them tropical, but with temperate outliers.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.

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