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Buxus sempervirens.jpg
Buxus sempervirens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Buxales
Family: Buxaceae


The Buxaceae are a small family of four or five genera and about 90–120 species of flowering plants. They are shrubs and small trees, with a cosmopolitan distribution. A fifth genus, sometimes accepted in the past (Notobuxus), has been shown by genetic studies to be included within Buxus (Balthazar et al., 2000).

The family is recognised by most taxonomists, and is sometimes known as the box family. However, its placement and circumscription has varied; some taxonomists treat Styloceras in its own family Stylocerataceae, and others have included Simmondsia (usually placed in its own family Simmondsiaceae) in Buxaceae.

The APG II system of 2003 recognises the family, but in a new circumscription in that it includes the genus Didymeles (two species of evergreen trees from Madagascar). However, APG II does allow the option of segregating this genus as family Didymelaceae, as an optional segregate. This represents a slight change from the APG system of 1998, which firmly recognised both families as separate. In both APG and APG II, the family Buxaceae is unplaced as to order and left among the basal lineages of the eudicots. The AP website suggests instating the order Buxales for this family and the family Didymelaceae.

References and external links[edit]

  1. ^ 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.