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Simmondsiaceae Tiegh. in Justs Bot. Jahresber. 25(2): 422. 1900 sec. APG IV [Angiosperm Phylogeny Group] 20161
  • Simmondsiaceae Tiegh. ex Reveal & Hoogland in Bull. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat., B, Adansonia sér. 4 12: 206. 1990, nom. inval., syn. sec. APG IV [Angiosperm Phylogeny Group] 20161,2,3
  • 1. APG IV [Angiosperm Phylogeny Group] 2016: APG IV: An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants. – Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 181(1): 1-20., 2. isonym, 3. IPNI 2000+: International Plant Names Index. – The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Harvard University Herbaria & Libraries and Australian National Botanic Gardens – 8 dec 2023


A monotypic family native to the Sonoran Desert of northwestern Mexico and to neighbouring regions in Arizona and southern California (Vázquez-Yanes & al. 1999), it is also introduced in some countries of South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The family includes evergreen dioecious shrubs with opposite and thick leaves, clearly articulated near the stem; the staminate flowers are small and borne in terminal inflorescences while the pistillate flowers are single and axillary; the calyx is much enlarged in fruit (Stevens 2001 onwards; Köhler 2003).
Traditionally, the family was placed in Hamamelidales (sensu Takthajan 1980), Euphorbiales (sensu Cronquist 1988) or in its own order Simmondsiales (sensu Takthajan 1997), in some cases within Buxaceae or close to it. However, the early molecular phylogenetic study by Fay & al. (1997) showed the affinities of Simmondsiaceae with Caryophyllales, this agrees also with several morphological characters of the stylodia, calyces and secondary growth (Köhler 2003). The affinities of the family with Caryophyllales were confirmed by subsequent molecular phylogenetic studies (e.g. Cuénoud & al. 2002; Brockington 2009, 2011; Soltis & al. 2011), which showed that Simmondsiaceae are closer to Rhabdodendraceae and/or to the remainder of Caryophyllid clade. Further information under Rhabdodendraceae.A


A. Hernández-Ledesma, P., Berendsohn, W. G., Borsch, T., von Mering, S., Akhani, H., Arias, S., Castañeda-Noa, I., Eggli, U., Eriksson, R., Flores-Olvera, H., Fuentes-Bazan, S., Kadereit, G., Klak, C., Korotkova, N., Nyffeler, R., Ocampo, G. & Ochoterena, H. 2015: A taxonomic backbone for the global synthesis of species diversity in the angiosperm order Caryophyllales. – Willdenowia 45(3): 281-383