Seed Characters in and Affinities Among the Saxifragineae

  • J. Ernst Krach
Part of the Plant Systematics and Evolution / Entwicklungsgeschichte und Systematik der Pflanzen book series (SYSTEMATICS, volume 1)


Neither the Rosales nor the Saxifragales, as defined by the majority of recent authors, can be regarded as being monophyletic. Also the term “slightly pleiophyletic” does nothing to elucidate the deep gaps separating the several evolutionary lines usually combined to form the order (or even suborder) Saxifragales.

The clear-cut concepts of an order Crassulales leave room for only the herbaceous families Crassulaceae (including Penthorum and most of the Saxifrageae), Astilbaceae, and Peltiphyllaceae. Some further genera (Vahlia, Eremosyne, and Cephalotus) seem to be distantly related to these families.

The Hydrangeaceae and the Escalloniaceae proper share a remarkable number of characteristics, which allows their combination as the Escalloniales.

The two otherwise very isolated genera Ribes and Phyllonoma may be related.

The Cunoniales (inc. Brunellia, Bauern, Pottingeria and perhaps the herbaceous Francoaceae) are another closely related group of families.

Only very doubtfully the woody orders Escalloniales, Grossulariales and Cunoniales possess any closer affinity to the herbaceous families Saxifragaceae and Crassulaceae.

Most of the taxa referred to as saxifragaceous have been so poorly investigated that it is at present premature to make any far-reaching conclusions regarding their true relationship. Until more knowledge has been obtained only their evolutionary trends can be suggested without a full understanding of their meaning for the taxonomic treatment of the whole group.


Seed Coat Evolutionary Line Seed Character Ripe Seed Outer Integument 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Ernst Krach
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Systematische Botanik der Universität MünchenMünchen 19Federal Republic of Germany

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