A number of other families have been added to Cunoniaceae but there does not seem to be overall
agreement on what should be included.
The families Baueraceae, Davidiaceae, Eucryphiaceae and Davidsoniaceae are considered by some to be synonyms for Cunoniaceae.
Some exclude Aphanopetalaceae, Baueraceae and Eucryphiaceae.
This results in various estimates of Cunoniaceae having 20 to 29 genera with 206 to 335 species.
Around 15 genera and 28 species are native to Australia with 7 species, mostly Ceratopetalum in Queensland.
Other better known genera include Callicoma, Cunonia, Davidsonia and Pullea.
The following description has the most common features but there are exceptions to most that are seen in only 1 or 2 genera.
Cunoniaceae are woody plants with most being evergreen trees plus some shrubs.
The leaves, on petioles are opposite or occasionally whorled (Davidsonia are alternate).
Stipules are frequently present and sometimes large but they fall off early leaving a scar.
They are mostly between the petiole bases (interpetiolar) but some are between the petiole and the stem (intrapetiolar).
They may be joined around the stem and they often have glandular hairs (colleters).
Leaves are commonly pinnate, sometimes trifoliate or palmate and rarely simple.
The leaf blades usually have a toothed edge and there may be simple or glandular hairs.
Axillary inflorescences are mostly a branched or unbranched cluster or a head.
The small flowers are bisexual and radially symmetric.
The calyx typically has 5 sepals that may be free of fused at the base.
They sometimes enlarge as the fruit grows.
There are usually 5 petals alternating with the sepal lobes but there may be none.
Petals are usually small, shorter than the sepals and free or fused.
There are 4 to many free stamens in 1 or 2 whorls that insert at the base of the ovary.
They are all of equal length and fertile.
The dorsifixed anthers, extending past the perianth open inwards through long slits.
There is almost always a nectiferous disc or glands inside the stamens.
The ovary is almost always superior and of 2 fused carpels with 2 locules.
Each locule has 2 to many ovules with axile or apical-axile placentation.
There are 2 styles.
Fruit are mostly woody loculicidal capsules.
The small seeds sometimes have a wing.