Genera : 50 -55

Species: 800 - 850

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Distribution: Pantropical, but with many species in the temperate regions as well.


Economic Uses: Cultivated as an attractive ornamental, including the brightly colored fruits of bittersweet and the stunning fall foliage of the 'burning bush'.

Defining Features of Interest: The seeds of the family are often surrounded by a brightly colored aril.

Fossil Evidence:Fossil pollen in the Oligocene and some questionable fossils in the Cretaceous.

Defining Morphology

Floral Features :

Fruit and Seed Features :

Vegetative Features :