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Classification of the Oleaceae family

The Oleaceae comprise about 600 species in 25 extant genera (and one extinct) with a world-wide distribution. This the most recent classification (Wallander and Albert 2000, PDF) is based on a molecular phylogeny and differs from previous classification (Johnson 1957) in two major respects: the subfamily level has been abandoned (because the subfamily Jasminoideae is paraphyletic) and the positions of the genera incertae sedis, Nyctanthes, Dimetra, and Myxopyrum (the former two previously in the Verbenaceae), have been established.

Tribe Subtribe Genus Synonyms (from RBG Kew) Number of species and major distribution area
Myxopyreae   Myxopyrum Chondrospermum, Myospyrum 4 species in C & S.E. Asia
Nyctanthes   2 species in Asia
Dimetra   1 species in Thailand and Laos
Fontanesieae   Fontanesia Desfontainesia, Fontainesia 1(-2) species in the Mediterranean region, SW Asia and China
Forsythieae   Abeliophyllum   One species in Korea
Forsythia Rangium One species in S. Europe and about 10 in E. Asia
Jasmineae   Menodora Bolivaria, Calyptrospermum, Menodoropsis 24 species disjunct in N. & C. America (SW USA, Mexico), S. America (mainly Argentina) and S. Africa
Jasminum Jacksonia, Jasminium, Mogorium, Noldeanthus, some Nyctanthes About 200 species in Africa, Asia, Australia
Oleeae Ligustrinae Ligustrum Esquirolia, Faulia, Ligustridium, Parasyringa, Phlyarodoxa, Visiania About 45 species in Eurasia, Australia and N America
Syringa Busbeckia, Ligustrina, Lilac, Lilaca, Lilacum About 20 species in temperate Eurasia
Schreberinae Comoranthus   2 species in Madagascar and the Comores
Schrebera Nathusia About 4 species in Africa and India
Fraxininae Fraxinus Apilia, Aplilia, Calycomelia, Fraxinoides, Leptalix, Mannaphorus, Meliopsis, Ornanthes, Ornus, Petlomelia, Samarpsea 48 species in temperate and subtropical areas of the northern hemisphere
Oleinae Chionanthus Bonamica, Campanolea, Ceranthus, Cylindria, Dekindtia, Freyeria, Linociera, Majepea, Mayepea, Minutia, Minuta, Thouinia, Tessarandra About 80-100 species (incl. Linociera) in America, Africa, Asia and Australia
ForestieraAdelia, Bigelovia, Borya, Carpoxis, Geisarina, Nudilus17 species mainly in S. USA and Mexico, some in the Caribbean, C and S America
Haenianthus   3 species in the West Indies
Hesperelaea  One species in Mexico (extinct)
Nestegis Gymnelaea4 species in New Zealand and one in Hawaii
Noronhia Binia, NoronhaeaAbout 40 species in Madagascar and the Comores
Notelaea Notelea, Postuera, Rhysospermum About 13 species in Australia and Tasmania
Olea Enaimon, Leuranthus, Pachyderma, Picricarya, Pogenda, Tetrapilus, Steganthus, Stereoderma 33 species in the Mediterranean area, Africa, Asia, E. Australia and New Caledonia (10 species excluding the 23 in subgenus Tetrapilus)
OsmanthusX Osmarea, Pausia, Siphonosmanthus About 30 species in S.E. Asia, New Caledonia and N. America (USA and Mexico)
CartremaAmarolea 5 species in S.E. Asia, 2 in N. America (USA and Mexico)
Phillyrea Phillyraea, Philyrea, Phyllirea 2 species in the Mediterranean region and W. Asia
Picconia Henslowia2 species in Macaronesia
Priogymnanthus 4 species in S. America

Maintained by Eva Wallander | Last updated: 2020-09-19