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Cornus suecica Ume River.jpg
Cornus suecica
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Cornales
Family: Cornaceae
Bercht. & J.Presl[1]

Cornaceae sensu stricto:  Cornus

Cornaceae (the dogwood family) are a cosmopolitan family of flowering plants in the order Cornales. The family contains approximately 110 species of mostly trees and shrubs, which may be deciduous or evergreen. Members of the family usually have opposite or alternate simple leaves, four- or five-parted flowers clustered in inflorescences or pseudanthia, and drupaceous fruits.[2] In northern temperate areas, Cornaceae are well known from two genera: Cornus, the dogwoods, and Nyssa, the tupelos.

The systematics of Cornaceae has been remarkably unsettled and controversial, and many genera have been added to it and removed from it over time. (One researcher called it a "dustbin."[3]) Molecular phylogenetics have clarified the relatedness of some associated genera, and at least nine genera that were previously included in Cornaceae have been eliminated from the order Cornales entirely,[4] but the circumscription of Cornaceae is still unclear. The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group usually defines Cornaceae as comprising the genera Cornus and Alangium as well as five genera often separated into the family Nyssaceae. However, many of these genera are sometimes split off into their own families (e.g. Alangiaceae), and the usage remains inconsistent.[1][4]


Cornus sanguineus with ladybird.jpg
  1. ^ a b 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 2013-06-26. 
  2. ^ Kubitzki, K. (2004). Cornaceae. In The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants Volume 6: Flowering Plants: Dicotyledons: Celastrales, Oxidales, Rosales, Cornales, Ericales (Kubitzki, ed.). Springer-Verlag, New York.
  3. ^ Eyde, R. H. (1988). Comprehending Cornus - puzzles and progress in the systematics of the dogwoods. Botanical Review 54, 233-351.
  4. ^ a b Fan, C. Z., and Xiang, Q. Y. (2003). Phylogenetic analyses of Cornales based on 26S rRNA and combined 26S rDNA-matK-rbcL sequence data. American Journal of Botany 90, 1357-1372.

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