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Halesia carolina0.jpg
Halesia carolina
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Styracaceae

See text

The Styracaceae are a small family of flowering plants in the order Ericales, containing 12 genera and about 160 species of trees and shrubs. The family occurs in warm temperate and subtropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere.[1][2]

The family is characterised by spirally arranged simple leaves with no stipules; symmetrical white flowers with a corolla of two to five (sometimes seven) fused petals; and the fruit usually is a dry capsule, sometimes winged, less often a fleshy drupe, with one or two seeds.

Most are large shrubs to small trees 3–15 m tall, but Halesia monticola (H. carolina var. monticola) is larger, with trees 39 m tall known in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.


Several genera include species popular as ornamental trees valued for their decorative white flowers. Benzoin resin, used in herbal medicine and perfumes, is extracted from the bark of Styrax species.


The genus Pamphilia, sometimes regarded as distinct, is now included within Styrax on genetic data.[1][3] Phylogenetic studies suggest Halesia is not monophyletic and one species has now been transferred to the new genus Perkinsiodendron.[4]



  1. ^ a b Fritsch, P.W.; Morton, C.M.; Chen, T.; Meldrum, C. (2001). "Phylogeny and Biogeography of the Styracaceae" (PDF). Int. J. Plant Sci. 162 (6 Suppl): S95–S116. doi:10.1086/323418. S2CID 83906894.
  2. ^ L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz (1992 onwards). The families of flowering plants. Styracaceae
  3. ^ Wallnöfer, B. (1997). "A revision of Styrax L. section Pamphilia (Mart. ex A. DC.) B. Walln. (Styracaceae)". Ann. Nathist. Mus. Wien. 99B: 681–720. JSTOR 41767084.
  4. ^ Fritsch, Peter; Yao, Xiaohong; Simison, W.; Cruz, B.C.; Chen, Tao (2016-07-18). "Perkinsiodendron, a new genus in the styracaceae based on morphology and DNA sequences". 10: 109–117. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)