Scientific Description:

Shrubs, small trees or less often perennial herbs (Adoxa L., a few Sambucus L., Sinadoxa C.Y.Wu, Z.L.Wu & R.F.Huang). Leaves compound (2−3-foliate, odd- or even-pinnate) orsimple (Viburnum L.), opposite to rarely whorled; margins usually toothed or entire; venation palmate to pinnate; stipules present or absent. Inflorescences terminal panicles, umbels, spikesorhead-likecymes. Flowers smaller than 5 mm in diameter, bisexual, rarely unisexual, (plants gynodioecious in Sambucus), actinomorphic. Sepals fused. Petals fused, often with a nectary at the base. Stamens opposite the sepals, filaments attached to petals; anthers ± basifixed, extrorse; staminodes 3−5. Ovary inferior to part-inferior; carpels fused; locules 1 (Viburnum) or 3−5; fertile ovule 1 per locule; placentation axile to apical; styles 3−5 or style reduced to absent; stigmas 3−5. Fruit a drupe.


Byng JW (2014). Adoxaceae, In: The Flowering Plants Handbook: A practical guide to families and genera of the world. Plant Gateway Ltd., Hertford, UK., pp. 508.

Public Description:

The “moschatelfamily” contains mostly shrubs and rarely large herbs in Northern temperate to tropical regions. The family is characterised by opposite toothed leaves, small five- or, more rarely, four-petalled flowers in cymose inflorescences, and the fruit being a drupe. All are compound leaves except Viburnum L. species.



Anonymous (2015)., Accessed date: 29.12.2015.

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