Dogwood family

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Dogwood family
Red dogwood (Cornus sanguinea)

Red dogwood ( Cornus sanguinea )

Class : Bedecktsamer (Magnoliopsida)
Nuclear eudicotyledons
Order : Dogwood-like (Cornales)
Family : Dogwood family
Scientific name
Bercht. ex Presl

The dogwood family (Cornaceae) are a family in the order dogwood-like (Cornales) within the flowering plants (Magnoliopsida).


Illustration by Cornus suecica
Sliced ​​fruit of Cornus kousa

Vegetative characteristics

Most of the species are trees or shrubs . The Canadian dogwood, however, is an evergreen, perennial herbaceous plant ; lianas also occur in the genus Alangium . The opposite or alternate arranged on the branches of deciduous leaves are simple.

Generative characteristics

The flowers of the dogwood family are relatively small and are formed in terminal, branched inflorescences that are sometimes covered by showy bracts . The species of the order dogwood-like (Cornales) vary greatly in their flower structure: Most, however, the flowers are small, and four to five, reduced in size sepals form a with the ovary deformed tube. Often there is a nectar-producing disc on the upper part of the ovary . In general, the flowers have four to five petals that are not fused together , but they can also be completely absent.

Systematics and distribution

The Cornaceae family was established in 1825 by Friedrich von Berchtold in Jan Svatopluk Presl : O Přirozenosti rostlin, aneb rostlinar , 2, 23, pages 92, 91. A synonym for Cornaceae Bercht. ex J. Presl nom. cons. is Alangiaceae DC. nom. cons. Type genus is ( Cornus L. )

Dogwood plants are mainly found in the temperate areas of the northern hemisphere . Some species are also found in tropical South America and Africa. They occur mainly in the temperate zones, or in mountainous areas of the tropics and subtropics .

According to Angiosperm Phylogeny Group APG III, the species of the Nyssaceae family were classified in the Cornaceae family for some years ; therefore there were the two subfamilies Cornoideae and Nyssoideae. At APG IV, however, there are again independent families.

The dogwood family (Cornaceae) are the eponymous family of the order dogwood-like (Cornales).

The Cornaceae Bercht family . ex J. Presl nom. cons. s. str .: It contains only two genera with about 85 species :

  • Alangium Lam. (Syn .: Marlea Roxb. , Stylidium Lour. ): The 21 to 27 species arewidespreadfrom tropical Africa through Asia to the islands of the southwestern Pacific.
  • Dogwood ( Cornus L. , Syn .: Afrocrania (Harms) Hutch. , Arctocrania Nakai , Benthamia Lindl. Nom. Illeg., Benthamidia Spach , Bothrocaryum (Koehne) Pojark. , Chamaepericlymenum Hill , Chamaepericlimenum Hill orth.var., Cornella Rydb. , Cynoxylon Raf. , Dendrobenthamia Hutch. , Discocrania (Harms) M.Král , Eukrania Raf. , Kraniopsis Raf. , Macrocarpium Nakai , Mesomora (Raf.) OORudbeck ex Lunell nom. Superflat., Ossea Lonitzer ex Nieuwl. & Lunell nom. . Superfl, Swida Opiz , Telukrama . Raf , Thelycrania (. Dumort) Fourr. , Yinquania Z.Y.Zhu ): The 46 to 60 species in temperate Eurasien until after Indochina , in Uganda to tropical southern Africa and in North America to Bolivia disseminated .


The economic importance of the Cornaceae family relates primarily to their use as ornamental trees : Dogwoods are cultivated because of the attractive appearance of flowers and fruits as well as the colorful autumn leaves. Some types of wood are also used in furniture production. The cornel can be found in many parts of Europe in forests and bushes, it is a popular hedge plant . Its red fruits are edible, in France they are used to make an alcoholic drink, the Vin de cornouille . The red dogwood - its leaves turn red in autumn - produces black fruits that are spread by birds; it occurs as undergrowth in sparse forests. Oil extracted from the fruits is used in France to make soap.


Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Cornaceae in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), USDA , ARS , National Genetic Resources Program. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  2. Cornaceae at Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, accessed October 29, 2018.
  3. Angiosperm Phylogeny Group : An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III. In: Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. Volume 161, No. 2, 2009, pp. 105-121, DOI: 10.1111 / j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x .
  4. The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group: An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV . Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2016, Volume 181, pp. 1-20. doi : 10.1111 / boj.12385
  5. a b c Rafaël Govaerts (Ed.): Cornaceae. In: World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP) - The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew . Retrieved October 27, 2018.

Web links

Commons : Dogwood Family (Cornaceae)  - Collection of images, videos, and audio files

Historical literature

  • Q.-Y. Xiang et al .: Relationships within Cornales and circumscription of Cornaceae - matK and rbcL sequence data and effects of outgroups and long branches. In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution , Volume 24, 2002, pp. 35-57.
  • Q.-Y. Xiang et al .: Phylogenetic relationships of Cornaceae and close relative inferred from matK and rbcL sequences. In: American Journal of Botany , Volume 85: 1998, pp. 285-297.
  • Friedrich von Berchtold in Jan Svatopluk Presl : O Přirozenosti rostlin, aneb rostlinar , 2, 23, 1825, pp. 92, 91.