Drimys

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Drimys
Drimys winteri.jpg
Drimys winteri flowers
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Magnoliids
Order: Canellales
Family: Winteraceae
Genus: Drimys
J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.
Species

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Drimys is a genus of about eight species of woody evergreen flowering plants, in the family Winteraceae. The species are native to the Neotropics, ranging from southern Mexico to the southern tip of South America. They are primitive dicots, associated with the humid temperate Antarctic flora of the Southern Hemisphere, which evolved millions of years ago on the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana. Members of the family generally have aromatic bark and leaves, and some are used to extract essential oils.

Selected species

D. confertifolia is endemic to the Juan Fernández Islands, 670 km off the Chilean coast, where it forms a dominant tree in the tall lowland forests and lower montane forests of the islands.

The genus formerly included a number of species from Australasia, including Tasmanian pepper (D. lanceolata). Recent botanical studies have led to a growing consensus of botanists to split the genus into two, with the Neotropical species remaining in genus Drimys, and the Australasian species classified in genus Tasmannia (Doust et al. 2004).

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