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The Buttercup family is like a window back in time. None of today's species were around 100 million years ago, but the Buttercups and other primitive groups like the Magnolias have retained the most ancestral characteristics over time. The Buttercups are considered very "simple" because the floral parts-the petals, sepals, stamens and pistils-are all of an indefinite number and separate from one another. Also, the stamens and pistils are spirally inserted in a cone-like receptacle, although it is often very small to see. More advanced plant families have reduced, more specific numbers of floral parts, and the parts are often fused together.
Key Words: Dicot flowers with three or more simple pistils, often with hooked tips.
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