Horticulture 221

Landscape Plants

Colorado State University

Woody Plant Families

 

It is of great importance in Horticulture, especially in plant identification and use of plants, to have knowledge of plant families.  Taxonomic features common to plants of varying appearance easily allow a student to place plants in the appropriate family.  Cultural techniques and plant adaptability to environmental and soil conditions can be readily decided on if the plant families are known to plantsmen.  Listed below are the woody plant families and some genera in each.

 

Material from Rehders ‑ Manual Cultivated Trees and Shrubs.   Arranged in order.

 

1.  Salicaceae   Willow family; 3 genera, 300 species. Mostly temperate regions; mostly trees.

Leaves: alternate, undivided, stipulate. Bark bitter, wood soft, light.

Flowers: catkins in axil of bracts.  Stamens 2 to many

Populus poplars   30 species. Scales catkins laciniate, cat pendulous

Salix ‑   willows, 300 species; scales catkins entire, stam cat upright.

Chosenia  1 species

 

2.  Myricaceae   Sweet gale family; 2 genera; 51 species. Trees and shrubs; temperate, sub‑tropical regions both hemispheres.

Myrica ‑ bayberry ‑ 50 species; leaves toothed, no stipules

Comptonia ‑ sweet fern, 1 species; leaves pinnatified

 

3.  Junglandaceae ‑ walnut family; 6 genera, 40 species. Trees.

Temperate:        Northern hemisphere; aromatic; leaves alternate odd pinnate, comp.

Flowers:            monoecious, staminate, usually drooping

Pterocarya ‑ wing nut ‑ 8 species

Juglans ‑ walnut   15 species lamellate pith, bark furrowe­d, leaves alternate.

Carya ‑ hickory, solid pith, 20 species, mostly U.S.

 

4.  Betulaceae ‑ Birch family ‑ 6 genera; over 100 species.  Trees, shrubs.

Leaves ‑ alternate, petioled.

Flowers ‑ usually monoecius staminate, fls catkins

Betula ‑ birch, 40 species

Alnus ‑ alder about 30 species

Carpinus ‑ hornbeam ‑ about 26 species

Ostrya ‑ hop hornbeam; 7 species

Corylus ‑ hazel, about 15 species

 

5.  Fagaceae    Beech family; 6 genera; over 600 species. Trees, rarely shrubs.

Leaves ‑ alternate, petioled deciduous stipules.

Flowers ‑ monoecious

Nothofagus      17 species; South America, New Zealand, Australia

Fagus ‑ beech; 10 species, deciduous trees, smooth bark

Castanea   chestnut, 10 species, temperate ‑ North hemisphere, no terminal bud

Quercus ‑ oak; over 200 species

 

6.  Ulmaceae ‑ elm family; 15 genera, 150 species. Trees, rarely shrubs.

Leaves ‑ alternate, 2 ranked, usually oblique at base

Ulmus ‑ elm, 18 species

Planera ‑ water elm; 1 species; North America

Zelkova

Celtis ‑ hackberry; about 70 species

 

7.  Moraceae    mulberry family; 55 genera, 1000 species, mostly tropical.  Trees, shrubs, vine.  Milky juice.

Leaves ‑ alternate, stipules.

Flowers ‑ monoecious or dioecious

Morus ‑ mulberry; 12 species; leaves variable; edible fruits

Macluraosage; orange

Broussonetia ‑ paper mulberry

Ficus ‑ fig; tree about 600 species; usually evergreen

 

8.  Loranthaceae           mistletoe family; 21 general; about 600 species; temperate and tropic

Phoradendron ‑ American mistletoe

 

9.  Aristolochiceae       Birthwort family; 5 genera, 210 species, mostly tropical and sub tropical areas.  Herbs, shrubs, vines.

Leaves ‑ alternate, no stipules

Aristolochia ‑ Dutchman's pipe; about 180 species

 

10. Ranunculaceae ‑ Buttercup family; 48 genera; 1300 species

Leaves ‑ alternate or opposite; many herbaceous

Xanthoriza ‑ yellow‑root

Clematis ‑ about 230 species; leaves ‑ opposite

 

11. LardizabalaceaeLardizabala family ‑ 7 genera; 20 species

Akebia ‑ 2 species; leaves digitate

 

12. Berberidaceae         Barberry family; 10 genera; 200 species in North and South America

Leaves ‑ alternate

Nandina

Mahonia          about 50 species; evergreen shrubs; leaves alternate, odd, pinnate

Mahoberberis

Berberis ‑ about 175 species; deciduous or evergreen

 

13. CercidiphyllaceaeKatsura tree family; l genera, l species

Cercidiphyllum

 

14. MagnoliaceaeMagnolis family; 10 genera, 70 species

Leaves ‑ alternate, entire, large petioled

Magnolia ‑ about 35 species, some evergreen

Liriodendron ‑ tulip‑tree, 2 species

 

15. Calycanthaceae       Calycanthus family; 2 genera; 5 species; aromatic bark

Leaves - opposite

Calycanthus

Chimonanthus

 

16. Annonaceae           Custard apple family ‑ 70 genera; 600 species; mostly tropical

Asimina ‑ Pawpaw

 

17. Lauraceae  Laurel family; 45 genera, 1000 species; mostly tropical, sub‑tropical

Leaves ‑ alternate, no stipules

Persea ‑ red bay

Sassagras

Lindera ‑ spice bush, about 60 species

 

 

 

 

18. Saxifragaceae         Saxifrage family ‑ 75 genera; 100 species.  Shrubs, vines, herbs.

Philadelphus ‑ mock‑orange; about 40 species

Deutizia ‑ about 50 species

Hydrangea ‑ about 35 species

Schizophramagma

Decumaria

Itea ‑ about 10 species

Ribes ‑ about 150 species

 

19. Hamamalidaceae     Witch hazel family; 20 genera; 50 species.  Trees or shrubs. Leaves alternate, stipules simple

Liquidambar ‑ sweet‑gum, 4 species

Fothergilla

Corylopsis

Hamamelis ‑ 6 species

 

20. EucommiaceaeEucommia family; 1 genus; 1 species

Eucommia

 

21. Platanaceae ‑ Plane tree family; 1 genus; 6 species. Tree.

Leaves ‑ alternate, palmately veined, long petioled

Platanus ‑ plane tree

 

22. Rosaceae    Rose family; 100 genera; 2000 species. Trees, shrubs, vines, herbs.  Stamens usually numerous. Leaves usually alternate.

Physocarpus ‑ ninebark; 13 species

Neillia ‑ 10 species

Stephanandra ‑ 4 species

Spiraeaspirea; over 80 species

Sorbaria ‑ false spirea; 7 species

Exochorda ‑ pearl bush

Holodiscus

Cotoneaster - about 50 species

Pyracantha ‑ firethorn, 6 species, many variations

Crataegus ‑ hawthorn, many species

Sorbus ‑ mountain ash, over 80 species

Aronia ‑ choke berry ‑ 3 species

Photinia ‑ about 40 species

Stranvaesia ‑ 4 or 5 species

Eriobotrya ‑ loquat ‑ 10 species

Raphiolepis

Amelanchier ‑ shadbush; about 25 species

Malus ‑ apple, about 25 species

Chaenomeles ‑ Japanese quince, 3 species

Cydonia ‑ quince

Pyrus ‑ pear; about 20 species

Neviusia

Rhodotyposjeat bead

Rubus ‑ over 400 species

Potentilla ‑ cinquefoil; over 300 species

Rose ‑ rose; 100 to 200 species

Prunus ‑ plum, cherry, almond

Prinsepia

Kerria

 

 

 

23. Luguninosa ‑ pea family; 430 genera; 2000 species. Trees, shrubs, vines.  Leaves alternate, compound, stipules

Albizzia ‑ about 25 species

Cercis ‑ redbud, 7 species

Gleditsia ‑ honey‑locusts, about 12 species

Gymnocladus ‑ Kentucky coffee tree

Maackia

Cladrastis ‑ yellow‑wood

Sophora ‑ Japan pagoda tree ‑ about 20 species

Genista

Laburnum ‑ golden chain; 3 species

Cytisus ‑ about 50 species

Indigofera ‑ about 300 species

Amorpha ‑ lead plant; about 15 species

Wisteria ‑ 9 species

Robinia ‑ locust; about 20 species

Colutea ‑ bladder senna; about 10 species

Holimodendron ‑ salt tree

Caragana ‑ pea tree; over 50 species

 

24. Rutacea     Rue family; 120 general; 1000 species. Trees, shrubs, some evergreen. Leaves usually alternate, mostly tropical

Zanthoxylum ‑ prickly ash, about 150 species; aromatic

Evodia ‑ leaves opposite; about 50 species

Choisya ‑ Mexican orange

Ruta ‑ rue

Ptelea ‑ hop tree; about 7 or more species

Phellodendron ‑ cork tree; 8 or 9 species

Skimmia ‑ 9 species

Poncirus ‑ hardy orange

 

25. Simaroubaceae       Quassia family ‑ 28 genera; 150 species; Ailanthus ‑ tree of heaven;

Leaves alternate, odd, pinnate.

Flowers ‑ smell

 

26. Meliaceae ‑ Mahogany family; 40 genera; 600 species

Cedrela

Melia ‑ china berry tree

 

27. Buxaceae ‑ Box family; 6 genera; 40 species; evergreen

Sarcacocca 

Pachysandra

Buxus

 

28. Anacardiacea ‑ Cashew family; 60 genera; 400 species

Pistacea ‑ 8 species

Cotinus ‑ 1 specie

Rhus ‑ about 150 species; sumac. Leaves ‑ alternate, odd, pinnate.

 

29. Aquifoliaceae         Holly family; 3 genera, 300 species, often evergreen. Leaves alternate, simple, stipules minute. 

Flowers ‑ dioecious

Ilex ‑ holly, about 300 species

Nemopanthus ‑ mountain holly

 

 

 

30. Celastraceae ‑ Stall tree family; 40 genera; 375 species

Leaves simple; stipules small

Euonymus ‑ spindle tree; about 120 species

Celastrus ‑ staff tree; over 30 species

Pachistima ‑ 2 species

 

31. Staphyleaceae ‑ Bladdernut family; 5 genera; 25 species

Staphylea ‑ bladder nut; 11 species

 

32. Aceraceae ‑ Maple family; 2 genera; 115 species. 

Leaves opposite; no stipules.

Acer ‑ maple; about 115 species

 

33. Hippocastanaceae    Horse chesnut family; 3 genera; 25 species, leaves opposite, digitate or pinnate

Aesulus ‑ horse chestnut, buckeye

 

34. Sapindaceae ‑ Soapberry family; 120 genera; 1000 species

Leaves ‑ usually alternate, usually pinnate

Koelreuteria ‑ golden rain tree

Xanthoceras

 

35. Rhamnaceae ‑ Buckthorn family; 45 genera; 550 species

Leaves usually alternate, simple, usually stipulate

Zizyphus ‑jujube

Rhamnus ‑ buckthorn; about 100 species

 

36. Vitaceae    Grape family; 10 genera; 450 species. Shrubs usually climbing, a few small trees. 

Leaves alternate, stipules.

Visit ‑ grape; about 60 species

Ampelopsis ‑ about 60 species

Parthenocissus

Cissus

 

37. Tiliaceae ‑ Linden family, 35 genera; 300 species. Trees, shrubs, herbs.

Tilia

 

38. Malvaceae   40 genera; 900 species.  Trees, shrubs, herbs, usually with stellate pubescens.

 

39. ActinidiaceaeActinidia family; 4 genera; 280 species. 

Lea­ves alternate.

Actinia ‑ about 25 species

 

40. Theaceae    Tea family; 18 genera; 200 species. Leaves alternate, no stipules.  Mostly tropical or subtropical.

Camellia   about 45 species

Stewartia ‑ about 8 species

Franklinia ‑ l specie

 

41. Guttiferae  Garcinia family; 40 genera; 750 species. Leaves opposite or whorled.  Mostly trees and shrubs, mostly tropical

Hypericaum ‑ about 200 species

 

42. TamaricaceaeTamarix family; 4 genera; 100 species. 

Leaves alternate, sessile.

Tamarix ‑ about 75 species

 

 

 

43. Thymeliaceae         Mexereum family; 40 genera; 450 species.  Shrubs or trees. Leaves alternate, simple, entire, no stipules

Daphne ‑ about 50 species

Dirca ‑ leatherwood

 

44. Eleagnaceae           Oleaster family; 3 genera; 30 species. Trees or shrubs.  Covered with peltate or stellate; silvery or brown scales.

Hippophae ‑ sea buckthorn

Shepherdia

Eleagnus ‑ about 40 species

 

45. Lythraceae ‑ Loosestrife family; 22 genera; 450 species

Lagerstroemia ‑ crape‑myrtle

 

46. Nyaceae ‑ Tupelo family; 3 genera

Nyssa ‑ sour gum

Davidia

 

47. Araliaceae  Ginseng family ‑ 50 genera; 500 species. Trees, shrubs, vines, some evergreen; often prickly, often climbing

Hedera ‑ 5 species

Fatshedera

Fatsia

Oplopanax

Nothopanix

Acanthopanix

Aralia

 

48. Cornaceae ‑ Dogwood family; 10 genera; 20 species

Aucuba ‑ 3 species

Cornus

 

49. Clethraceae ‑ White alder family; 30 species

Clethra

 

50. Ericaceae ‑ Heath family; 70 genera; 1500 species

Ledum

Rhododendron ‑ over 600 species

Menziesia

Leiophyllum

Kalmia

Phyllodoce

Enkianthus

Cassiope

Andromeda

Zenobia

Pieris

Lyonia

Chamaedaphne

Oxydendron

Leucothoe

Epigaea

Gaultheria

Arbutus

Arctostaphylos

Calluna

Erica ‑ about 500 species

 

51. Ebanaceae ‑ Ebony family; 6 genera; 300 species; mostly tropical

Diospyros ‑ persimmon; about 200 species

 

52. SymplocaceaeSweetleaf family; 200 species; tropics, subtropics

Symplocos

 

53. StyraceaeStorax family; 6 genera; 100 species

Styrax ‑ about 100 species

Halesia ‑ silver‑bell tree

 

54. Oleaceae    Olive family; 20 genera; 400 species. Leaves usually opposite, no stipules

Fontanesia

Abeliophyllum

Fraxinus ‑ ash; about 65 species

Forsythia ‑ golden bell; 6 or 7 species

Syringa ‑ lilac; about 28 species

Ligustrum ‑ privet, about 50 species

Osmanthus

Ohionanthus

Jasminum ‑ jasmine; about 200 species; mostly tropics; subtropics

 

55. Loganiaceae   Logania family; 30 genera, 400 species, mostly tropical, sub tropical

Buddleia ‑ butterfly bush; 100 species

Gelsemium

 

56. Ascelpiadaceae       Milkweed family, 220 genera, 2000 species milky juice.  Leaves opposite, no stipules

Periploea ‑ silk vine

 

57. Verbenaceae ‑ Vervain family; 70 genera, 750 species

Callicarpa ‑ beauty berry

Vitex

Clerodendron

Caryopteris

 

58. Labiatae     Mint family; 160 genera; 3000 species; usually contain volatile oil, stems usually square; leaves opposite or whorled.

Teucrium ‑ germander

Rosmarinus ‑ rosemary

Lavandula ‑ lavender

Thymus ‑ thyme

 

59. Solanaceae ‑ Nightshade family; 75 genera; 2000 species

Solarum

Lycium ‑ matrimony vine

 

60. Scrophulariaceae ‑ Figwort family; 180 genera, 3000 species

Paulownia ‑ empress tree

 

61. Bignoniaceae   Bignonia family; 100 genera, 600 species, mostly tropics, sub‑tropics.

Catalpa

Bigonia ‑ cross vine

Campsis ‑ trumpet creeper

 

 

 

62. Rubiaceae ‑ Madder family, 350 genera; 4500 species

Cephalanthus ‑ button bush

 

63. Caprifoliaceae ‑ Honeysuckle family; 14 genera; 400 species.

Leaves opposite

Sambucus ‑ elderberry

Viburnum ‑ about 120 species

Abelia

Kolkwitzia ‑ beauty bush

Diervilla

Weigela

Loncera ‑ honeysuckle, about 100 species

 

64. Compositae ‑ Composite family; 800 genera; 20,000 species

Baccharis

Olearia

 

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