Trees or shrubs, rarely rhizomatous herbs, mostly deciduous, sometimes evergreen, hermaphroditic [dioecious in African species]. Old branches terete, pith white or brown, lenticels and leaf scars often conspicuous; young branches rounded or slightly 4-ridged; nodes slightly swollen. Leaves opposite, rarely alternate or whorled, estipulate, petiolate, rarely sessile; leaf blade simple, entire, pinnately veined, rarely parallel veined, often pubescent, sometimes papillate; trichomes often 2-armed, arms equal or unequal, appressed and T-shaped, or raised and V- or Y-shaped, or pseudofiliform. Inflorescences cymose, paniculate, corymbose, umbellate, or capitulate, terminal, rarely lateral; bracts minute, not petaloid, early caducous, or 4(–6) and usually showy. Flowers 4-merous. Calyx tubular, fused to ovary, minutely 4-dentate or truncate. Petals 4, free, creamy white or yellow, rarely dark reddish purple or partially dark reddish purple, valvate. Stamens 4, surrounding a fleshy floral disk, alternate petals. Anthers longitudinally dehiscent. Ovary inferior; carpels 2, rarely 3 or 4; locules 2, rarely 3 or 4; ovules pendulous, 1 per locule; style 1, columnar or clavate; stigma capitate, disciform, punctate, or truncate, sometimes slightly 2-lobed. Fruit a drupaceous berry, white, blue, red, or black, berries distinct or fused into a fleshy syncarpous compound fruit; stone of fruit bony, 1- or 2(–4)-chambered, seeds 1 or 2(–4); endosperm oily; cotyledons 2, leaflike.
Herbs, shrubs, or trees, perennial, deciduous, synoecious [dioecious]; hairs unbranched or 2-armed (occasionally 1 arm absent). Leaves usually opposite, sometimes alternate, simple; stipules absent; petiole usually present, sometimes absent; blade margins entire; venation pinnate (eucamptodromous). Inflorescences axillary or terminal, cymes, umbels, or capitula. Flowers bisexual [unisexual]; perianth and androecium epigynous; hypanthium completely adnate to ovary; sepals 4(–5), distinct or slightly connate; petals 4(–5), distinct, valvate; nectary present, intrastaminal; stamens 4(–5), distinct, free; anthers dehiscing by longitudinal slits; pistil 1, [1–]2[–4]-carpellate, ovary inferior, [1–]2[–4]-locular, placentation apical; ovules 1 per locule, apotropous to epitropous; style 1; stigmas 2. Fruits drupes, rarely fused into a syncarp. Seeds 1(–2) per fruit.
Leaves simple, alternate or opposite, entire or serrate; stipules usually absent
Trees, shrubs or rarely perennial herbs
Flowers hermaphrodite or dioecious, in racemes, panicles, umbels, clusters of Cymules or compact heads
Petals 4–5 or rarely absent, imbricate or valvate
Calyx-tube adnate to the ovary; sepals 4–5 or absent
Fruit a drupe or berry; embryo small in abundant endosperm
Ovary inferior, usually 2-celled but often 1–4 (–10)-celled; ovules pendulous, one per loculus
Stamens 4–5, alternating with the petals
Trees, shrubs, rarely perennial herbs or woody lianes
Seed with copious endosperm and a small embryo
Flowers hermaphrodite or unisexual (then the plants usually monoecious or polygamodioecious), actinomorphic in cymes or panicles, umbels or rarely in capitula and then with large petal-like bracts
Leaves opposite or less commonly alternate, simple, exstipulate
Fruit typically a drupe, sometimes a berry
Style 1 or several rising from a glandular disk
Placentation usually axile, with 1 anatropous pendulous ovule in each loculus
Ovary inferior, with (1)2–4 locules
Stamens the same number as the petals and alternating with them, anthers 2-celled dehiscing laterally or rarely introrsely
Petals 4–5 (rarely lacking), aestivation imbricate or valvate
Derick B. Poindexter "Cornaceae (Dumortier) Dumortier in Flora of North America @ efloras.org" eFlora. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA., 2017. Web. Accessed February 2018.