Fls perfect; cal small, obconic or campanulate, truncate or obscurely 4-lobed; cor salverform, the 4 lobes spreading or recurved; stamens 2; anthers large; ovules 2 per locule; stigma capitate; fr a small black drupe; shrubs with simple, short-petioled, entire lvs and small panicles of white fls terminating the main axis and short lateral branches. 40, Old World.
A number of spp. are cult. and occasionally escape, but only L. vulgare is commonly established. Some of the other spp. are keyed, but only L. vulgare is described.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.