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Stegnospermataceae Nakai in J. Jap. Bot. 18(3): 108. 1942 sec. APG IV [Angiosperm Phylogeny Group] 20161
  • 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.


A monogeneric family with three species occurring from northwestern Mexico to Nicaragua and the Antilles (Rohwer 1993). The family includes small trees and shrubs characterised by bisexual flowers with two-whorled perianth, one whorl consisting of five free, green sepals, and the other of five white petals with narrow base, which are adherent to the alternisepalous stames at the base. The fruits are capsules and the seeds are arillate (Rohwer 1993).
When the only genus Stegnosperma Benth. was described in 1844, it was placed in Phytolaccaceae and accepted by other authors (e.g. Heimerl 1934). Nakai (1942) elevated the genus to the family level. Recognition as a family was also supported by morphological, palynological, and wood anatomical characters (e.g. Nowicke 1968; Bedell 1980; Carlquist 1999). For a detailed taxonomic history until the 1980s see Bedell (1980).
The early molecular phylogenetic studies of Downie & al. (1997) and Fay & al. (1997) showed the position of Stegnosperma as an independent lineage. However, both classifications, the recognition of Stegnospermataceae (e.g. Rohwer 1993; Takhtajan 1997) and Stegnosperma within Phytolacacceae (e.g. Stevens 2001) continued to be used. Subsequent phylogenetic studies (e.g. Savolainen & al. 2000; Cuénoud & al. 2002; Schäferhoff & al. 2010; Qiu & al. 2010; Brockington 2009, 2011; Soltis & al. 2011) confirmed the findings of Downie & al. (1997) and Fay & al. (1997), resulting in the wide recognition of Stegnospermataceae as a separate family.A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P,Q,R


A. Bedell, H.G. 1980: A taxonomic and morphological re-evaluation of Stegnospermaceae (Caryophyllales). – Systematic Botany 5(4): 419-431.
B. 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.
C. Brockington, S. F., Walker, R. H., Glover, R. H., Soltis, P.S. & Soltis, D.E. 2011: Complex pigment evolution in the Caryophyllales. – New Phytologist 190: 854 – 864.|
D. Carlquist, S. 1999: Wood and stem anatomy of Stegnosperma (Caryophyllales); phylogenetic relationships; nature of lateral meristems and successive cambial activity. – IAWA Journal 20: 149-163
E. 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.
F. Downie, S. R., Katz-Downie, D. S. & Cho, K.-J. 1997: Relationships in the Caryophyllales as suggested by phylogenetic analyses of partial chloroplast DNA ORF2280 homolog sequences. – American Journal of Botany 84: 253-273.
G. 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.
H. Heimerl, A. 1934: Phytolaccaceae, pp. 135-164. – In: Engler, A. & Prantl, K., Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien 4. – Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann
I. 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.
J. Nakai, T. 1942: Notulae ad plantas Asiae orientalis. – Journal of Japanese Botany 17: 189 – 210
K. Nowicke, J. W. 1968: Palynotaxonomic study of the Phytolaccaceae. – Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 55: 294-364.
L. Qiu, Y.-L., Li, L., Wang, B., Xue, J.-Y., Hendry, T.A., Li, R.-Q., Brown, J.W., Liu, Y., Hudson, G.T. & Chen, Z.-D. 2010: Angiosperm phylogeny inferred from sequences of four mitochondrial genes. – Journal of Systematics and Evolution 48(6): 391-425.
M. Rohwer, J. G. 1993: Stegnospermataceae, pp. 592-594. – In: Kubitzki, K., Rohwer, J.G. & Bittrich, V. (ed.), The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants 2. – Berlin, Heidelberg & New York: Springer
N. Savolainen, V., Fay, M. F., Albach, D. C., Backlund, A., van der Bank, M., Cameron, K. M., Johnson, S. A., Lledó, M. D., Pintaud, J. C., Powell, M., Sheahan, M. C., Soltis, D. E., Soltis, P. S., Weston, P., Whitten, W. M., Wurdack, K. J. & Chase, M. W. 2000: Phylogeny of the eudicots: a nearly complete familial analysis based on rbcL gene sequences. – Kew Bulletin 55(2): 257-309.
O. Schäferhoff, B., Müller, K.F. & Borsch, T. 2010: Caryophyllales phylogenetics: disentangling Phytolaccaceae and Molluginaceae and description of Microteaceae as a new isolated family. – Willdenowia 39: 209-228.
P. 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.
Q. Stevens, P. F. 2001+: Angiosperm Phylogeny Website –
R. Takhtajan, A. L. 1997: Diversity and classification of flowering plants. – New York: Columbia University Press