Basal Group

Among the four orders in the basal group of plants recognized by APG (Figure 2-5), resin has been reported to occur only in the Piperales. Moreover, only a few of the 2000 species of the tropical genus Piper (Piperaceae) have been recorded as producing flavonoid "resins" from the root and unripe fruit. One large shrub in particular, P. methysticum, known as kava, is widely cultivated, the resin used as a drug by the native people of Oceania (Chapter 10). It is not known how many other species of Piper produce this resin, although it is assumed that others do but have not been reported. There are numerous taxa in the Laurales that produce large amounts of volatile essential oils but without the nonvolatile fraction that characterizes resin.

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