Distribution of Lythraceae:
Lythraceae or Lawsonia family comprises of 2-3 genera and 475 species. The members are widely distributed but most abundant in tropical and sub-tropical regions.
Economic Importance of Lythraceae:
A few plants produce useful timber, e.g., Dauebanga Sonneratioides, Lagerstroemia parviflora, L. speciosa, L. Lanceolata, Physocalymma scaberrium.
The red-dye, henna is prepared from leaves of Lawsonia innermis L, The hair-dye is also prepared from its leaves. The dye is also used in dyeing hands, feet and bear.
A liquid called ‘Keora water’ – a flavouring agent is obtained from Sonneratia caseolaris by distillation.
Some species of Lagerstroemia indica, Cuphea platycentra, Lawsonia, Lythrum salicaria etc., are cultivated as garden ornamentals.
Affinities of Lythraceae:
The family is allied to Onagrceae.
The genus Punica (P. granatum L., the pomegranate plant) has been shifted to separate unigenic Family Punicaceae next to Lythraceae; Similarly the genera Sonnertia and Duabanga formely treated as members of Lythraceae by Bentham & Hooker have been placed in separate family Sonnertiaceae very near to Lythraceae.