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Family Adoxaceae

Synonyms: Viburnaceae APNI*
Sambucaceae APNI*

Description: Perennial herbs, shrubs or small trees; plants glabrous or indumentum of simple, stellate or rarely peltate scales, glandular or eglandular.

Leaves opposite (rarely whorled), simple, pinnately or twice-ternately compound, usually petiolate; leaf or leaflet lamina margins often serrate; stipules present or absent, sometimes glandular.

Inflorescence a terminal panicle, true or false umbel, spike (not in Australia) or head-like cyme. Flowers usually bisexual, ± actinomorphic, sometimes with sterile flowers around periphery of inflorescence. Calyx open; sepals 2–5, connate, reduced, persistent. Corolla rotate; petals (3–) 4–5 (–6), connate, the corolla tube sometimes very short. Stamens 5, sometimes divided and appearing as 10, adnate to base of corolla, opposite the petals; anthers basifixed or dorsifixed, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Gynoecium of 2–5 connate carpels. Ovary inferior or half-inferior, 1–several locular, some locules occasionally sterile, sometimes with apical glandular tissue that produces nectar (Viburnum); styles absent or short and terminal; stigma capitate or lobed. Ovule 1 per locule; placentation axile. Nectary of different types or absent.

Fruit a drupe with 1 pyrene (in Viburnum) or up to 5 (in Adoxa and Sambucus). Endosperm oily, copious.

Distribution and occurrence: World 3 genera, 228 species, predominantly Northern Hemisphere, Temperate and tropical montane. Australia 2 genera, 6 species, native and naturalised, S.A., Qld., N.S.W., A.C.T., Vic., Tas.

External links:
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (Family: Adoxaceae, Order: Dipsacales)

Text by Val Stajsic, adapted by Kerry Gibbons 21 Apr. 2023.
Taxon concept: APG IV, Flora of Australia Online [accessed 18 Apr. 2023]. Distribution and occurrence: Kew Plants of the World Online; Australian Plant Census [both accessed 18 Apr. 2023].

 Key to the genera 
1Leaves compoundSambucus
Leaves simpleViburnum

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