The Caprifoliaceae or honeysuckle family is a clade of dicotyledonous flowering plants consisting of about 860 species in 42 genera, with a nearly cosmopolitan distribution. Centres of diversity are found in eastern North America and eastern Asia, while they are absent in tropical and southern Africa.
The flowering plants in this clade are mostly shrubs and vines : rarely herbs. They include some ornamental garden plants grown in temperate regions. The leaves are mostly opposite with no stipules (appendages at the base of a leafstalk or petiole), and may be either evergreen or deciduous. The flowers are tubular funnel-shaped or bell-like, usually with five outward spreading lobes or points, and are often fragrant. They usually form a small calyx with small bracts. The fruit is in most cases a berry or a drupe. The genera Diervilla and Weigela have capsular fruit, while Heptacodium has an achene.
Views of the family-level classification of the traditionally accepted Caprifoliaceae and other plants in the botanical order Dipsacales have been considerably revised in recent decades. Most botanists now accept the placement of two of the most familiar members of this group, the elderberries (Sambucus) and the viburnums (Viburnum), in the family Adoxaceae instead; these were formerly classified here.
Several other families of the more broadly treated Caprifoliaceae s.l. are separated by some but not all authors; these are treated as subfamilies in the listing of selected genera below, along with estimated numbers of species.
- Heptacodium (Seven-son flower): 1 species
- Leycesteria: 6 species
- Lonicera (Honeysuckle): 180 species
- Symphoricarpos (Snowberry): 17 species
- Triosteum (Horsegentian): 6 species
- Abelia: 30 species
- Dipelta: 4 species
- Kolkwitzia (Beautybush): 1 species
- Linnaea (Twinflower): 1 species
- Dipsacus (Teasel): 15 species
- Pterocephalus: 25 species
- Scabiosa (Scabious, pincushion flower): 30 species
The plants belonging to this family are mainly hardy shrubs or vines of ornamental value, many of which are popular garden shrubs, notably species belonging to the genera Abelia, Lonicera, and Weigela.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Caprifoliaceae.|