Consolea Lem. in Rev. Hort. (Paris) 1862: 174. 1862 sec. Majure & al. (2012)



Plastid and nuclear ITS data so far provided inconclusive results for the placement of Consolea and its separation from Opuntia. Consolea was found to be imbedded in Opuntia by Griffith & Porter (2009) based on combined nuclear and plastid data. The plastid and nuclear data of Majure & al. (2012) supported the monophyly but were incongruent regarding the placement of Consolea: while plastid data resolved Consolea outside of Opuntia (BS=53%), nuclear ITS data resolve Consolea within Opuntia (BS=75%), yet both these placements receive only weak support. Support for a placement outside of Opuntia increased to 81% BS when only diploids were included in a combined nuclear and plastid analysis.
Majure & al. (2012) pointed out that evolution in Opuntia and allies involves hybridization and allopolyploidization and that Consolea might be of allopolyploid origin, as indicated by the incongruent plastid and nuclear trees. Nevertheless, Majure & al. (2012) argue for recognizing Consolea as a genus distinct from Opuntia because of good support for its monophyly, the placement by combined plastid and nuclear data ourside of Opuntia and unique morphological characteristics.