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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 Takhtajan 1980), Euphorbiales (sensu Cronquist 1988) or in its own order Simmondsiales (sensu Takhtajan 1997), in some cases within Buxaceae or close to it. 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.A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L


A. Brockington, S. F., Alexandre, R., Ramdial, J., Moore, M. J., Crawley, S., Dhingra, A., Hilu, K., Douglas, E. S. & Soltis, P.S. 2009: Phylogeny of the Caryophyllales sensu lato: Revisiting hypotheses on pollination biology and perianth differentiation in the core Caryophyllales. – International Journal of Plant Sciences 170(5): 627–643.
B. Brockington, S. F., Rudall, P. J., Frohlich, M. W., Oppenheimer, D., Soltis, P.S. & Soltis, D.E. 2011: ‘Living stones’ reveal alternative petal identity programs within the core eudicots. – The Plant Journal 69: 193-203.
C. Cronquist, A.J. 1988: The evolution and classification of Flowering Plants, ed. 2. – New York: New York Botanical Garden
D. Cuénoud, P. & al. 2002: Molecular phylogenetics of Caryophyllales based on nuclear 18S rDNA and plastid rbcL, atpB, and matK DNA sequences. – American Journal of Botany 89(1): 132-144.
E. Fay, M., Cameron, K. M., Prance, G. T., Lledó, M. D. & Chase, M. W. 1997: Familial relationships of Rhabdodendron (Rhabdodendraceae): plastid rbcL sequences indicate a caryophyllid placement. – Kew Bulletin 52: 923 – 932.
F. 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-Bazán, 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.
G. Köhler, E. 2003: Simmondsiaceae, 355 – 358. – In: Kubitzki, K. & Bayer, C. (ed.), The families and genera of vascular plants 5. – Berlin, Heidelberg & New York: Springer
H. Soltis, D.E., Smith, S.A., Cellinese, N., Wurdack, K.J., Tank, D.C., Brockington, S.F., Refulio-Rodriguez, N.F., Walker, J.B., Moore, M.J., Carlsward, B.S., Bell, C.D., Latvis, M., Crawley, S., Black, C., Diouf, D., Xi, Z., Rushworth, C.A., Gitzendanner, M.A., Sytsma, K.J., Qiu, Y.-l., Hilu, K.W., Davis, C.C., Sanderson, M.J., Beaman, R.S., Olmstead, R.G., Judd, W.S., Donoghue, M.J. & Soltis, P.S. 2011: Angiosperm phylogeny: 17 genes, 640 taxa. – American Journal of Botany 98(4): 704-730.
I. Stevens, P. F. 2001+: Angiosperm Phylogeny Website –
J. Takhtajan, A. L. 1980: Outline of the classification of flowering plants (Magnoliophyta). – Botanical Review 46: 225–359
K. Takhtajan, A. L. 1997: Diversity and classification of flowering plants. – New York: Columbia University Press
L. Vázquez Yanes, C., Batis Muñoz, A., Alcocer Silva, S., Gual Díaz, M. & Sánchez Dirzo, C. 1999: Árboles y arbustos nativos potencialmente valiosos para la restauración ecológica y la reforestación. Reporte técnico del proyecto J-084. – México D. F.: CONA BIO / Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México