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Petiveria, named after James Petiver (1663-1718), apothecary and Fellow of the Royal Society, chiefly interested in botany and bugs. This family is distinguished from Phytolaccaceae by only having 1 carpel, ovary with 1 locule and 1 seed. Habit ranges from chiefly herbs to thorny trees; leaves alternate, entire, plants often with a distinctive smell. Perianth usually with 4 segments; fruit various.