Lythraceae is a family of flowering plants, including 32 genera with about 620 species of herbs, shrubs and trees. The larger genera include Cuphea (275 spp.), Lagerstroemia (56), Nesaea (50), Rotala (45), and Lythrum (35). It also includes the pomegranate (Punica granatum, formerly in Punicaceae) and the water caltrop (Trapa natans, formerly in Trapaceae). Lythraceae has a worldwide distribution, with most species in the tropics, but ranging into temperate climate regions as well. The family is named after the type genus, Lythrum, the loosestrifes (e.g. Lythrum salicaria purple loosestrife) and also includes henna (Lawsonia inermis). It now includes the pomegranate, formerly classed in a separate family Punicaceae. The family also includes the widely cultivated crape myrtle trees. Botanically, the leaves are usually in pairs (opposite), and the flower petals emerge from the rim of the calyx tube. The petals often appear crumpled.
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