Temporal range: Santonian–Recent (Possible Albian representative)
|Eucryphia in flower|
Cunoniaceae is a family of 26 genera and about 350 species of woody plants in the Antarctic flora, with many laurifolia species with glossy leaves endemic to laurel forest habitat. The family is native to Australia, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New Zealand, Oceania, Mexico, Central America, South America, Madagascar, the Mascarene Islands, and southern Africa. Several of the genera have remarkable disjunct ranges, found on more than one continent, e.g. Cunonia in South Africa and New Caledonia, and Caldcluvia and Eucryphia in both Australia and South America. Caldcluvia also extends north of the Equator to the Philippines, and Geissois to Fiji in the Pacific Ocean.
The greatest diversity of genera are in Australia and Tasmania (16 genera), New Guinea (9 genera), and New Caledonia (7 genera). South Africa has two genera (Cunonia and Platylophus). The Americas have four genera (Caldcluvia, Eucryphia, Lamanonia, and Weinmannia), with Weinmannia ranging from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean through tropical and temperate South America.
The family includes trees, shrubs and lianas; most are evergreen but a few are deciduous. The leaves are opposite or whorled, rarely alternate, and simple or pinnate, and often with conspicuous stipules. The flowers have four or five (rarely three or up to ten) sepals and petals. The fruit is usually a woody capsule containing several small seeds; the seeds have an oily endosperm.
The families Baueraceae, Davidsoniaceae and Eucryphiaceae, previously regarded as distinct, are now included in the Cunoniaceae.
The family has one or two fossil representatives. Platydiscus peltatus is found in Upper Cretaceous rocks from Sweden and is likely a member of the Cunoniaceae. An earlier possible fossil member is from the Albian. Tropidogyne, found in Indochinese amber, has flowers that strongly resemble the extant Ceratopetalum.
- Peter F. Stevens. "Cunoniaceae". APWeb.
- 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.
- Kubitzki, Klaus, ed. (2004). The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants: Volume VI, Flowering plants, Dicotyledons: Celastrales, Oxalidales, Rosales, Cornales. Springer, Heidelberg. p 97.
Media related to Cunoniaceae at Wikimedia Commons