Myrtaceae (myrtle) family

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Example species (Eucalyptus obliqua)

Common Name and Type Genus: Myrtle family, derived from the Myrtus genus

Distribution: Worldwide occurrence, with greater frequency in warmer or tropical climates

Family Size: About 130-150 genera and 6,000 species (with new genera and species still being described regularly)

Notable Genera: Despite its large size, the myrtle family is host to only a handful of commercial wood genera. Far and away the largest of these is Eucalyptus, along with the closely related Angophora and Corymbia. (Trees within these three genera are sometimes referred to as eucalypts.)

Comments: Despite bearing the name of the myrtle family, the common myrtle (Myrtus communis) tends to be no larger than a shrub and is almost never used by woodworkers. Not to be confused with the unrelated Oregon myrtle (Umbellularia californica), which is actually in the Lauraceae (laurel) family.

From a timber perspective, Eucalyptus is so dominant and commercially important that the Myrtaceae family might be more appropriately seen as the eucalypt family rather than the myrtle family.

  Genera listing

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