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diapensia (dĪəpĕnˈsēə) [key], common name for the Diapensiaceae, a family of low evergreen shrubs native to cool and arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The species that are restricted to the New World are found in the E United States. Galax is native to woods from Virginia to Georgia; it has spikes of white blossoms (and is sometimes called wandflower), and its leaves are often used as greens by florists. The pyxie or flowering moss ( Pyxidanthera barbulata ), is a creeping plant of the pine barrens. The diapensia family is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Diapensiales.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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