CAPRIFOLIACEAE, a natural order of plants belonging to the sympetalous or higher division of Dicotyledons, that namely which is characterized by having the petals of the flower united. The plants are mainly shrubs and trees; British representatives are Sambucus (elder), Viburnum (guelder-rose and wayfaring tree), Lonicera (honeysuckle) (see fig.); Adoxa (moschatel), a small herb with a creeping stem and small yellowish-green flowers, is occasionally found on damp hedge-banks; Linnaea, a slender creeping evergreen with a thread-like stem and pink bell-shaped flower, a northern plant, occurs in fir-forests and plantations in the north of England and Scotland. The leaves are opposite, simple as in honeysuckle, or compound as in elder; they have usually no stipules. The flowers are regular as in Viburnum
Flowering shoot of Lonicera Caprifolium, slightly reduced. 1, Fruit slightly reduced; 2, horizontal plan of arrangement of flower.
and Sambucus, more rarely two-lipped as in Lonicera; the sepals and petals are usually five in number and placed above the ovary, the five stamens are attached to the corolla-tube, there are three to five carpels, and the fruit is a berry as in honeysuckle or snowberry (Symphoricarpus), or a stone fruit, with several, usually three, stones, as in Sambucus.
In Sambucus and Viburnum the small white flowers are massed in heads; honey is secreted at the base of the styles and, the tube of the flower being very short, is exposed to the visits of flies and insects with short probosces. The flowers of Lonicera, which have a long tube, open in the evening, when they are sweet-scented and are visited by hawk-moths. The order contains about 250 species, chiefly natives of the north temperate zone and the mountains of the tropics. Several genera afford ornamental plants; such are Lonicera, erect shrubs or twiners with long-tubed white, yellow or red flowers; Symphoricarpus, a North American shrub, with small whitish pendulous flowers and white berries; Diervilla (also known as Weigelia), and Viburnum, including V. Opulus, guelder rose, in the cultivated forms of which the corolla has become enlarged at the expense of the essential organs and the flowers are neuter.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)