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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Order: Cornales

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Asterids

Six families, all of which are encountered in southern Africa. Worldwide there are 51 genera and 590 species, of which four genera and six species are native to southern Africa. An additional eight genera and 27 species are cultivated in the region.

Families encountered in southern Africa


Two genera and 10 species are cultivated in southern Africa.



One species, Curtisia dentata (Assegai), a tree that is endemic to forests of southern Africa. See Flora of Zimbabwe.


One genus, Grubbia, containing three fynbos species that are endemic to the Western Cape and Eastern Cape.


Seventeen genera and about 190 species, native to warm temperate regions and the tropics. Five genera and 17 species are cultivated in southern Africa.


One genus, Hydrostachys, and about 20 species, native to Africa and Madagascar. One species, Hydrostachys polymorpha, is native to southern Africa. This plant lives in fast flowing streams in KwaZulu-Natal. For more information, see PlantzAfrica.


About 14 genera and 265 species, native mainly to the Americas but also to Africa, southern Arabia and the Marquesas Islands. One species, Kissenia capensis, is native to southern Africa.