Acantholimon Boiss., Diagn. Pl. Orient., ser. 1, 7: 69. 1846, nom. cons., sec. Kubitzki (1993b)


Large genus of cushion-forming subshrubs; about 150-200 species (including many narrow endemics) distributed from south-eastern Europe to Central Asia, centred in the mountainous regions of Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan (Kubitzki 1993b).
The study by Lledó & al. (2005) included only one representative of Acantholimon, which was recovered in a clade together with Dictyolimon and Cephalorhizum. Moharrek & al. (2014) studied 50 species Acantholimon from Iran. Due to the unresolved position of Cephalorhizum turcomanicum Popov (found either as sister to Acantholimon or nested within) monophyly of Acantholimon is uncertain. Old sections of Acantholimon were not found as monophyletic (Moharrek & al. 2014).