Viburnaceae Raf.

First published in Ann. Gen. Sci. Phys. 6: 87. 1820 [Oct-Dec 1820] (1820)nom. cons.
This family is accepted

Descriptions

Gemma Bramley, Anna Trias-Blasi & Richard Wilford (2023). The Kew Temperate Plant Families Identification Handbook. Kew Publishing Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Recognition
Characters of similar families: Caprifoliaceae: flowers zygomorphic, elongate style, capitate stigma. Rubiaceae: interpetiolar stipules, leaf margins always entire. Hydrangeaceae: (Hydrangea similar to Viburnum in large outermost sterile flowers) free petals, stamens twice as many as petals. Cornaceae: (confused with Viburnum), typically 4-merous, hairs simple or 2-armed.
Morphology General Habit
Herbs, perennial and rhizomatous, shrubs, or small trees
Morphology General Hair
Hairs when present, simple or stellate
Morphology Leaves Stipules
Stipules absent or stipule-like appendages present, often inconspicuous
Morphology Leaves
Leaves simple or pinnately compound, rarely bipinnate, or ternate or biternately compound, opposite, sometimes whorled, or basal, usually serrate, can be lobed or entire
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences terminal panicles, flat-topped corymbose cymes, or glomerules, can be false umbellate, bracts and bracteoles small if present, or absent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic; sometimes outermost flowers large, zygomorphic and sterile, innermost flowers smaller, fertile (Viburnum); usually 5-merous, sepals 2–5, small, fused at base; corolla tubular, funneliform to campanulate, various lengths, petals 4–6, lobed, broad connate; stamens equal and alternate to petals, filaments adnate to tube, sometimes divided to base and appearing twice as many stamens to petals, anthers longitudinally dehiscent; ovary inferior to semi-inferior; 3–5 fused carpels forming one or several locules; style short, sessile or absent, stigma, 3–5-lobed
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit a drupe (Viburnum) or a berry, (Sambucus)
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds (1)3(5) hard pyrenes.
Distribution
Three genera and ca. 255 species, in mainly northern temperate areas, less often in the subtropics. Historically, Viburnum and Sambucus have been included in the Caprifoliaceae, or recognised as monogeneric families.
Note
Herbs, shrubs, or small trees. Leaves simple or compound, opposite, margins entire or serrate. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic; corolla 5-merous; connate, stamens alternating with petals, ovary inferior.
Description Author
Lesley Walsingham
[KTEMP-FIH]

Timothy M. A. Utteridge and Laura V. S. Jennings (2022). Trees of New Guinea. Kew Publishing. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Distribution
A family of five genera with c. 200 species; Sambucus L. is arborescent and reaches northern New Guinea (although the genus is not recorded for New Guinea in Kern & van Steenis, 1951).
[TONG]

Milliken, W., Klitgard, B. and Baracat, A. (2009 onwards), Neotropikey - Interactive key and information resources for flowering plants of the Neotropics. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Morphology General Habit
Small trees or shrubs
Morphology Leaves
Leaves opposite, simple, lamina dissected and palmatifid (Viburnum L.), entire or compound and imparipinnate (Sambucus L.); margins entire, dentate or serrate; primary venation pinnate, secondary venation palmate to pinnate; stipules or stipule -like glandular appendages present or absent; indumentum not uncommon, stellate in Viburnum
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence terminal (Sambucus) or axillary corymbs, cymes, panicles or umbels
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic, 5- merous (rarely 4- merous), bracteate or not; epigynous disk present (in Sambucus); calyx inconspicuous; corolla members fused; stamens 5, adnate to corolla and alternating with corolla lobes, anthers dorsifixed and dehiscing via full-length longitudinal slits; ovary inferior to partly inferior, carpels (1)2-5(8), syncarpous, locules (1)3(5), stigma more or less non stylate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit indehiscent either a berry (Sambucus) or a drupe (Viburnum)
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds (1)3(5).
Diagnostic
Key differences from similar families: Cornaceae: Some Cornaceae look similar to Viburnum, but the former often have 4-merous flowers; they lack stellateindumentum, and their lateralveins ascend towards the apex of the blade. (APG III, 2009). Caprifoliaceae s.l.:Flowers bilaterally symmetrical; nectary made up of hairs on adaxial side of corolla (vs. radial in Adoxaceae) glandularnectary on top of ovary. Sambucus; compound leaves. Viburnum; simple leaves. Distinguishing characters (always present): Opposite leaves with toothed margins. Inflorescence flat-topped with many small flowers. Bisexual, actinomorphic flowers. Small and inconspicuous calyx. Stamens adnate to corolla tube. Stigma +/- sessile. Fruit with distinct pyrene (s).
Distribution
Native. Mesophytic areas throughout the Neotropics.
Note
Also known as the Moschatel family. Both genera widely cultivated for their fruits and ornamental value. Number of genera: Sambucus and Viburnum Notes on delimitation: Resolved within the Dipsacales (APG III, 2009). Often separated into distinct monogeneric families (Viburnaceae and Sambucaceae) or within the larger Caprifoliaceae.
[NTK]

Uses

Use
Both genera are notable as ornamental shrubs, with Sambucus fruits traditionally used in culinary and herbal medicine practices.
[KTEMP-FIH]

Sources

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Neotropikey

    • Milliken, W., Klitgard, B. and Baracat, A. (2009 onwards), Neotropikey - Interactive key and information resources for flowering plants of the Neotropics.
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Trees of New Guinea

    • Trees of New Guinea
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • The Kew Temperate Plant Families Identification Handbook

    • The Kew Temperate Plant Families Identification Handbook
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0