Garryaceae Lindl.

This family is accepted.


Every, J.L.R. (2010). Neotropical Garryaceae.


Evergreen trees or shrubs. Leaves opposite, decussate , simple , entire or pinnatifid , lamina leathery, simple trichomes present or rarely absent, margin entire ; estipulate; petioles connate or sub - sessile . Inflorescence terminal catkins or racemes, pedunculate. Flowers unisexual, dioecious , actinomorphic , anemophilous, bracts present, rarely absent; perianth parts 2, sepaloid, fused and massively reduced or absent in pistillate flowers, with 4 free members in staminate flowers; stamens (0-)2(-4), equal in number to perianth parts, persistent , free from and alternating with perianth members, anthers dehiscing via longitudinal slits, basifixed; ovary inferior or partly inferior, syncarpous, carpels 2(-3), style 2(-3). Fruit a berry , persistent . Seeds (1-)2(-3), small.

Distribution in the Neotropics
  • Mesophytic and semi-xerophytic environments, often forming part of the forest understorey in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America.
  • Coastal chaparral to mountain slopes over 4,000m above sea-level.
Distinguishing characters (always present)
  • Evergreen.
  • Dioecious.
  • Catkins.
  • Fruit a berry.
Key differences from similar families
  • Differs from members of the Cornaceae in having a berry as opposed to a drupe as a fruit, and lacking the involucres of petal -like bracts.
General Description
Number of genera
  • 1: Garrya Lindl. with ca. 12 species.
  • Native but also widely cultivated as an ornamental.
Notes on delimitation
  • Placed as the type family in the order Garryales along with East-Asian Aucuba Thunb. and the monotypic Eucommiaceae of central China.
Important literature

Brummitt, R.K. 2007. Garryaceae. In: V.H. Heywood, R.K. Brummitt, A. Culham and O. Seberg (eds.). Flowering Plant Families of the World. P.152. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Lentz, D.L. 2004. Garryaceae. In: Smith, N., Mori, S.A., Henderson, A., Stevenson, D.W. and Heald, S.V. (eds.). Flowering Plants of the Neotropics. P.164. The New York Botanical Garden, Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Liston, A. 2003. A New Interpretation of Floral Morphology in Garrya (Garryaceae). Taxon 52(2): 271-276.

Maas, P.J.M. & Westra, L.Y.Th. 2005. Neotropical Plant Families. 358 pp. 3rd ed. A.R.G. Gantner Verlag K.G., Ruggell.

Stevens, P.F. 2008. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 9 onwards.

Watson, L. and Dallwitz, M.J. (1992 onwards). The Families of Flowering Plants: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. Version 3rd March 2009.

Garryaceae Lindl. appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Edwards's Bot. Reg. 20: t.1686. 1834 [1 Jul 1834] (1834)

Accepted by

  • APG IV (2016)

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Neotropikey

    Milliken, W., Klitgard, B. and Baracat, A. (2009 onwards), Neotropikey - Interactive key and information resources for flowering plants of the Neotropics.