It has narrow, shortstalked leaves and inconspicuous, apetalous, unisexual flowers borne in short spikes.
The genus Myrica is the type of a small, but widely distributed order, Myricaceae, which is placed among the apetalous families of Dicotyledons, and is perhaps most nearly allied to the willow family.
The starting-point of the class, however, and the position within it of apetalous families with frequently unisexual flowers, have provoked much discussion.
- Monochlamydeous (apetalous) flower of Goosefoot (Chenopodium), consisting of a single perianth (calyx) of five parts, enclosing five stamens, which are opposite the divisions of the perianth, owing to the absence of the petals.
In the Euphorbiaceae we have an excellent example of the gradual suppression of parts, where from an apetalous, trimerous, staminal flower we pass to one where one of the stamens is suppressed, and then to forms where two of them are wanting.
The Cenomanian strata have yielded already 177 species, the different groups being represented in these proportions: Cryptogams, 37, 30 of which are Ferns; Cycads, 8; Conifers, 27; Monocotyledons, 8; Apetalous Dicotyledons, 31; other Dicotyledons, 66.