The Elder Family
Usually shrubs, leaves oppositely placed; leaves simple or pinnately compound usually with petiole (leaf stem). Blades with pinnate (feather-like) venation and blade margins may be entire (smooth), toothed, or lobed. Floral inflorescences are terminal panicles, true or false umbels, spikes or cymes. Flowers are usually bisexual and they are radially symmetrical (actinomorphic). The 5 sepals are fused as are the 5 petals; often they have a nectary disc at their base. The stamens are adnate to the petals. The ovary is inferior or half inferior and composed of 2 -5 fused carpels. Fruits are fleshy, indehiscent capsules, berries or drupes. The family has a mostly northern distribution: N. America, Europe, NW Africa, Russia. The family consists of five genera: Adoxa, Sambucus (Elderberry), Sinadoxa, Tetradoxa and Viburnum.