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CORNACEAE

DOGWOOD FAMILY

James R. Shevock

Perennial, shrubs, trees, sometimes dioecious
Leaves generally opposite, simple, generally entire, generally deciduous; stipules 0
Inflorescence: cyme or racemes, generally umbel- or head-like, sometimes subtended by showy, petal-like bracts
Flower generally small, generally bisexual; calyx generally 4-lobed; petals 0 or 4(5), free; stamens generally as many as and alternate petals; ovary inferior, chambers 1–4, each 1-ovuled, style simple, stigma 1–4-lobed
Fruit: generally drupe or berry
Seeds generally 1–2
Genera in family: ± 12 genera, ± 100 species: especially n temp (also s tropical, subtropical). Cult as ornamental (Cornus, Aucuba ); some timber species. Genera diverse; many have been treated as constituting families, but trend is to treat Cornaceae broadly
Reference: [Eyde 1987 Syst Bot 12:505–518]

CORNUS

DOGWOOD

Perennial, shrubs, trees
Leaves generally opposite or whorled, simple, generally deciduous; both ends generally tapered
Inflorescence small, head- or umbel-like, and surrounded by showy bracts (or cyme, large, open, lacking showy bracts)
Flower generally minute; sepals 4, fused at base; petals 4; stamens 4, attached to receptacle; style 1, thread-like, stigma simple
Fruit: drupe; stone 1–2-chambered
Species in genus: ± 50 species: n temp (rare in s hemisphere); many cultivated as ornamental, some for autumn color. Some fruit used for jam, syrup
Etymology: (Latin: horn, from the hard wood)
Divided by some into at least 6 genera.

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