Small or medium sized shrubs, erect or sometimes scandent, usually with soft wood and broad pith. Leaves opposite, simple, entire, exstipulate (stipulate in V. opulus). Flowers hermaphrodite, usually in cymes or panicles. Calyx adnate to the ovary, usually 5-fid or toothed. Corolla gamopetalous, tubular, rotate, salverform or 2-lipped, regular or irregular. Stamens inserted on corolla tube, alternating with lobes; anthers free. Ovary inferior, 2-54ocular; style terminal, usually simple, long and slender (short and divided in Viburnum); stigma capitate or lobed. Fruit a drupe or berry-like or capsular.
A family of 12 genera and 450 species, mainly distributed in the temperate regions of northern hemisphere, mostly in the Himalaya and China. Some species are found in Australia and S. America. Represented in Pakistan by 4 genera and 27 species. The taxon Weigelia florida (Burge) A.DC. is reported to be cultivated at Abbottabad (R. R. Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vasc. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 691.1972).
Acknowledgements: We are thankful to the Directors/Curators of the following herbaria for the loan of plant specimens: B, BM, E, ISL, K, PPFI-B. We would also like to thank Mr. LC. Hedge (Edinburgh) for going through the manuscript and giving helpful suggestions.
The financial assistance received from the USDA under P.L. 480 is gratefully acknowledged.