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Classification of the Oleaceae family

The Oleaceae comprise about 600 species in 28 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. Since then a few more genera have ben split or lumped. The classification below have incorporated these recent changes in taxonomy.

Tribe Subtribe Genus Synonyms 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
Chrysojasminum Jasminum sect. Alternifolia 10 species in S Europe, E Africa, Asia
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 CartremaAmarolea 2 species in N. America (USA and Mexico)
ChengiodendronOsmanthus sect. Leiolea 5 species in SE Asia (China, Japan, Cambodia, India, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia)
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, Pogenda, Steganthus 10 species in the Mediterranean area, Africa, Asia, E. Australia and New Caledonia
OsmanthusX Osmarea, Pausia, Siphonosmanthus About 25 species in S.E. Asia, New Caledonia
Phillyrea Phillyraea, Philyrea, Phyllirea 2 species in the Mediterranean region and W. Asia
Picconia Henslowia2 species in Macaronesia
Priogymnanthus 4 species in S. America
Tetrapilus Olea subgenus Tetrapilus 23 species in SE Asia


Maintained by Eva Wallander | Last updated: 2022-01-07