(Centrospermae) A subclass of the dicotyledons containing mostly herbaceous plants usually with bisexual flowers. The seeds often contain perisperm and *betalain
alkaloids are usually present. Four or five orders are usually recognized: the Caryophyllales (or Chenopodiales); the Polygonales, containing the one family Polygonaceae (including buckwheat and sorrel); the Plumbaginal es, including the one family Plumbaginaceae; the Batales, comprising the one species Batis maritima (saltwort), often placed in the Caryophyllales; and the Theligonales, the one genus of which, Theligonum, has been variously placed in the Caryophyllales or Haloragales (subclass Rosidae). The Caryophyllales is divided into some 10-16 families, the more important of which are the *Cactaceae
(cactus family), the Aizoaceae (including the mesembryanthemums), the Caryophyllaceae (carnation family), and the Chenopodiaceae (beet family).