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Deciduous and evergreen shrubs or small trees, with scented alternate leaves and unisexual flowers, the sexes sometimes on the same plant, sometimes separated. Flowers in catkins, and produced in the axils of bracts. There are neither sepals nor petals, the male flower consisting of a varying number of stamens, the female of a one-celled ovary with two stalkless stigmas.
The myricas are not much grown in gardens, but are worth a place for their sweetly scented leaves, and, in the American kinds, their white, wax-coated fruits. They thrive in any ordinary soil. Increased by seed or layering.