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The Caprifoliaceae or honeysuckle family are a clade of dicotyledonous flowering plants consisting of about 860 species in 42 genera, with a nearly cosmopolitan distribution. Centres of diversity are found in eastern North America and eastern Asia, while they are absent in tropical and southern Africa.
They are mostly shrubs and vines, rarely herbs, including some ornamental garden plants in temperate regions. The leaves are mostly opposite with no stipules (appendages at the base of a leafstalk or petiole), and may be either evergreen or deciduous. The flowers are tubular funnel-shaped or bell-like, usually with five outward spreading lobes or points, and are often fragrant. They usually form a small calyx with small bracts. The fruit is in most cases a berry or a drupe. The genera Diervilla and Weigela have capsular fruit.
Views of the family-level classification of the traditionally accepted Caprifoliaceae and other plants in the botanical order Dipsacales have been considerably revised in recent decades. Most botanists now accept the placement of two of the most familiar members of this group, the elderberries (Sambucus) and the viburnums Viburnum, in the family Adoxaceae instead; these were formerly classified here.
Several other families of the more broadly treated Caprifoliaceae s.l. are separated by some but not all authors; these are treated as subfamilies in the listing of selected genera below, along with estimated numbers of species.
- Heptacodium (Seven-son Flower): 1 species
- Leycesteria: 6 species
- Lonicera (Honeysuckle): 180 species
- Symphoricarpos (Snowberry): 17 species
- Triosteum (Horsegentian): 6 species
- Abelia: 30 species
- Dipelta: 4 species
- Kolkwitzia (Beautybush): 1 species
- Linnaea (Twinflower): 1 species
- Acanthocalyx: 3 species
- Dipsacus (teasel): 15 species
- Pterocephalus: 25 species
- Scabiosa (Scabious, Pincushion flower): 30 species
- Centranthus: 12 species
- Nardostachys : 3 species
- Patrinia: 17 species
- Plectritis (Seablushes): 5 species
- Valeriana (Valerians): 125 species
- Valerianella (Cornsalads): 20 species
The plants belonging to this family are mainly hardy ornamental shrubs or vines, many popular garden shrubs, especially Abelia, Lonicera, and Weigela. A few have become invasive weeds outside of their native ranges (such as Lonicera japonica).
- Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- Flowering Plants of the World, 1987, Vernon H. Heywood, Andromeda Oxford Ltd., ISBN 90-5210-165-5
- Botanica, Gordon Cheers, Random House Australia, ISBN 3-8290-1953-X