Temporal range: Aptian recordPossible
The Calycanthaceae (sweetshrubs or spicebushes) are a small family of flowering plants in the order Laurales. The family contains three genera and only 10 known species , restricted to warm temperate and tropical regions:
They are aromatic, deciduous shrubs growing to 2–4 m tall, except for Idiospermum, which is a large evergreen tree. The flowers are white to red, with spirally arranged tepals. DNA-based phylogenies indicate the Northern Hemisphere Calycanthus and Chimonanthus diverged from each other in the mid-Miocene, while the Australian Idiospermum had already diverged by the Upper Cretaceous and likely represents a remnant of a former Gondwanan distribution of Calycanthaceae.
The oldest definitive fossil of the family is Jerseyanthus from the Turonian of New Jersey; the even earlier Araipa of Brazil and Virginianthus from Virginia may also represent members of the family, but may also be stem-Calycanthaceae or more basal Laurales.
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