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Family Name Description
248

Acanthaceae (The Acanthus Family)

Aceraceae (The Maple Family)

Acoraceae (The Sweet Flag Family)

Actinidiaceae (The Actinidia Family)

Adoxaceae (The Viburnum family)

Agavaceae (The Century Plant Family)

Aizoaceae (The Carpet Weed Family)

Alliaceae (The Onion Family)

Alstroemeriaceae (The Alstroemeria Family)

Amaryllidaceae (The Amaryllis Family)

Anacardiaceae (The Cashew Family)

Anemiaceae (The Flowering Fern Family)

Ferns of this family are unusual in bearing two types of fronds, one that is sterile and the other that is fertile producing spores.
Annonaceae (The Custard Apple Family)

Apiaceae (The Carrot/Parsley Family)

Apocynaceae (The Dogbane Family)

Aquifoliaceae (The Holly Family)

Araceae (The Arum Family)

Araliaceae (The Aralia Family)

Araucariaceae (The Araucaria Family)

Arecaceae (The Palm Family)

Aristolochiaceae (The Birthwort Family)

Asclepiadaceae (The Milkweed Family)

Asparagaceae (The Asparagus Family)

Asphodelaceae (The Asphodel Family)

The members of this family, which includes aloes, asphodels and kniphofias, used to belong to the Aloaceae (The Aloe Family) and the Liliaceae (The Lily Family). Recent work has suggested that they are better classified under the Asphodelaceae. This family is native to Africa and the Mediterreanean to Central Asia with one member, Bulbinella, in New Zealand. The centre of diversity of this family is in South Africa.
Aspleniaceae (The Spleenwort Family)

Asteliaceae (The Astelia Family)

Asteraceae (The Aster Family)

Balsaminaceae (The Jewelweed Family)

Begoniaceae (The Begonia Family)

Berberidaceae (The Barberry Family)

Betulaceae (The Birch Family)

Bignoniaceae (The Catalpa Family)

Blechnaceae (The Deer or Chain Fern Family)

Boraginaceae (The Borage Family)

Brassicaceae (The Mustard Family)

Bromeliaceae (The Pineapple Family)

Buddlejaceae (The Butterfly Bush Family)

Cactaceae (The Cactus Family)

Calycanthaceae (The Calycanthus Family)

Campanulaceae (The Bellflower Family)

Cannabaceae (The Hemp Family)

Cannaceae (The Canna Family)

Capparaceae (The Caper Family)

Caprifoliaceae (The Honeysuckle Family)

Caricaceae (The Papaya Family)

Caryophyllaceae (The Pink Family)

Celastraceae (The Staff Tree Family)

Chloranthaceae (The Chloranthus Family)

Cistaceae (The Rockrose Family)

Clethraceae (The Clethra Family)

Colchicaceae (The Bellwort Family)

Commelinaceae (The Spiderwort Family)

Convallariaceae (The Lily of the Valley Family)

Cornaceae (The Dogwood Family)

Crassulaceae (The Crassula Family)

Cucurbitaceae (The Gourd Family)

Cunoniaceae (The Wild Alder Family)

The Cunoniaceae is a southern hemisphere family of 26 genera and about 350 species of woody plants, most if not all of which will be unfamiliar to northern hemisphere gardeners. Plants in this family are considered part of the Antarctic flora occurring on the southern portions of the southern continents. Several of the genera have remarkable disjunct ranges, found on more than one continent, e.g. Eucryphia is found in both Australia and South America.
Cupressaceae (The cypress Family)

Cyperaceae (The Sedge Family)

Davalliaceae (The Rabbit's Foot Fern Family)

Dicksoniaceae (The Dicksonia Family)

Dipsacaceae (The Teasel Family)

Droseraceae (The Sundew Family)

Dryopteridaceae (The Wood Fern Family)

Ebenaceae (The Ebony Family)

Elaeagnaceae (The Autumn Olive Family)

Ericaceae (The Heath Family)

Euphorbiaceae (The Spurge Family)

Fabaceae (The Legume Family)

Fagaceae (The Oak Family)

Francoaceae (The Francoa Family)

Fumariaceae (The Fumitory Family)

Gentianaceae (The Gentian Family)

Geraniaceae (The Geranium Family)

Gesneriaceae (The African Violet Family)

Glaucidiaceae (The Glaucidium Family)

Grossulariaceae (The Gooseberry Family)

Gunneraceae (The Gunnera Family)

Haemodoraceae (The Bloodwort Family)

Hamamelidaceae (The Witch Hazel Family)

Hyacinthaceae (The Hyacinth Family)

Hydrangaceae (The Hydrangea Family)

Hypericaceae (St. John's Wort Family)

Iridaceae (The Iris Family)

Iteaceae (The Sweetspire Family)

Lamiaceae (The Mint Family)

Lardizabalaceae (The Lardizabala Family)

Lauraceae (The Olive Family)

Liliaceae (The Lily Family

Loganiaceae (The Logania Family)

This mostly tropical family has a few members that we can grow in our gardens, namely Gelsemium and Spigelia.
Lythraceae (The Loosestrife Family)

Magnoliaceae (The Magnolia Family)

Malvaceae (The Mallow Family)

Melastomataceae

Melianthaceae (The Honeybush Family)

Moraceae (The Fig Family)

Musaceae (The Banana Family)

Myrsinaceae (The Myrsine Family)

Until recently this family included genera that were mostly unknown to gardeners. However, recent scientific work has resulted in the reclassification of Cyclamen and Lysimachia from the Primulaceae (The Primula Family) to the myrsine family.
Myrtaceae (The Myrtle Family)

Oleaceae (The Olive Family)

Onagraceae (The Evening Primrose Family)

Orchidaceae (The Orchid Family)

Orobanchaceae (The Broomrape Family)

Osmundaceae (The Royal Fern Family)

Oxalidaceae (The Oxalis Family)

Paeoniaceae (The Peony Family)

Papaveraceae (The Poppy Family)

Passifloraceae (The Passion Flower Family)

Paulowniaceae (The Princess Tree family)

Phytolaccaceae (The Pokeweed Family)

Pinaceae (The pine tree Family)

Piperaceae (The Pepper Family)

Pittosporaceae (The Pittosporum Family)

Plantaginaceae

Plumbaginaceae (The Leadwort Family)

Poaceae (The Grass Family)

Polemoniaceae (The Phlox Family)

Polygalaceae (The Milkwort Family)

Polygonaceae (The Buckwheat Family)

Polypodiaceae (The Polypody Family)

Portulacaceae (The Portulaca or Purslane Family)

Primulaceae (The Primrose Family)

Proteaceae (The Protea Family)

Pteridaceae (The Maidenhair Fern Family)

Pteridophyllaceae (The Pteridophyllum Family)

This family currently has an identity crisis. It contains only one species, Pteridophyllum racemosum, which used to be included in the poppy family. In the early 90s it was suggested that the single species was different enough from the poppies to warrant being in its own family. However, further research has suggested a closer link to the buttercups.
Ranunculaceae (The Buttercup Family)

Restionaceae (The Restio Family)

A family of rush- or sedge-like evergreens from the Southern Hemisphere with its centres of diversity in South Africa and Australia. Current knowledge suggests that the hardiest species can tolerate zone 8 while most are easily hardy to zone 9. Excellent (and decorative) in pots overwintered in an unheated or slightly heated greenhouse or equivalent space.
Rhamnaceae (The Buckthorn Family)

Rosaceae (The Rose Family)

Rubiaceae (The Madder Family)

Ruscaceae (The Butcher’s Broom Family)

Rutaceae (The Citrus Family)

Salicaceae (The Willow Family)

Sarraceniaceae (The Pitcher Plant Family)

Saururaceae (The Lizard's Tail Family)

Saxifragaceae (The Saxifrage Family)

Schisandraceae (The Schisandra Family)

Sciadopityaceae (The Japanese umbrella-pine family)

The Umbrella-Pine family has only one genus and one species - Sciadopitys verticillata - with no close living relatives. Despite being taxonomically lonely, this beautiful evergreen definitely deserves a place in the garden.
Scrophulariaceae (The Figwort Family)

Selaginellaceae (The Spikemoss Family)

Solanaceae (The Deadly Nightshade Family)

Sterculiaceae (The Cacao/Chocolate Family)

Streliziaceae (The Bird-of-Paradise Family)

Styracaceae (The Silver Bells Family)

Taccaceae (The Bat Plant Family)

Tecophilaeaceae (The Blue Crocus Family)

Theaceae (The Tea family)

Thymelaeaceae (The Daphne Family)

Trilliaceae (The Trillium Family)

Tropaeolaceae (The Nasturtium Family)

Urticaceae (The Nettle Family)

The Nettle Family is not one that has offered many ornamental plants to horticulture except in one notable case: Pilea peperomioides. Known as Chinese money plant or pancake plant, the round fleshy leaves held outwards on stems that join the leaf near its middle makes it a unique and sought-after houseplant.
Valerianaceae (The Valerian Family)

Verbenaceae (The Verbena Family)

Violaceae (The Violet Family)

Vitaceae (The Grape Family)

We have this family to thank for wine as well as the attractive virginia creepers that adorn the walls and arbours of our houses.
Winteraceae (The Winter's Bark Family)

Xanthorrhoeaceae (The Grass Tree Family)

Zingiberaceae (The Ginger Family)

Not only does this family bring us the edible cooking ginger great in stir-fries, with sushi, and in other Asian cuisine but it brings us many ornamental and hardy gingers including Zingiber mioga and diverse species of Hedychium.