Trees, shrubs or occasionally subshrubs. Leaves mostly opposite, simple, entire or remotely sawtoothed. Flower clusters terminal or axillary, mostly flat-topped or in heads, branched or occasionally solitary with large, showy, petal-like bracts. Flowers regular, bisexual or unisexual, small, with a disk at the tip of the ovary. Calyx of 4-5 sepals often reduced and tooth-like. Petals 4 or 5, free, white, purple or yellow. Stamens 4-5, occasionally 10. Ovary inferior. Carpels 2 with 1-2 chambers, each containing 1 ovule. Fruit a drupe with a furrowed seed.
6 genera of about 50 species, mostly temperate northern hemisphere.
The fruits of Cornus mas are edible and the timber of other species has a range of uses.
Trees and shrubs; ovary inferior with 1 ovule per chamber; fruit a drupe with 1 stone.
Source: (2002). Cornaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, March 2018