The straw that broke Malpighiales' back

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Jan 31 21:26:40 CST 2004


Dear All,
      I've had my eye on Angiosperm Phylogeny Group's huge eudicot Order Malpighiales ever since I trimmed back Order Poales and split their huge Asparagales in two (reviving Order Iridales).  Now that some of them are trying to cram yet another order (Rafflesiales) into this already bloated Malpighiales, I took another look, and it is still a big mess, and it's holophyly does not seem very certain in any case.  I still don't know why they called it Malpighiales anyway, since other ordinal names have priority (Violales, Hypericales, and Euphorbiales) and are also more familiar to botanists in general (especially Violales which is the oldest).
     I'm not going to go back to the extreme splitting of certain other classifications, but this extreme lumping is not good either.  So in addition to Order Rafflesiales (which alone would probably have made the grouping polyphyletic), I am splitting their Malpighiales into 5 formal Orders, and any comments on this classification are welcome (on the content only, since I will code them at a later time).   I suspect that some of these orders may have sister taxa outside of this proposed clade, and even if they don't, such a classification is more traditional and for many would be much easier to remember.  As it turned out (and this was not planned), each order is a fairly uniform size (7-8 families each).  The dates show the year each ordinal name was first proposed:

VIOLALES (1826)
     Violaceae
     Lacistemataceae
     Scyphostegiaceae
     Salicaceae
     Achariaceae
     Passifloraceae
     Malesherbiaceae
     Turneraceae

LINALES (1839)
     Linaceae
     Ixonanthaceae
     Ctenolophonaceae
     Humiriaceae
     Irvingiaceae
     Erythroxylaceae
     Rhizophoraceae

EUPHORBIALES (1833)
     Euphorbiaceae
     Putranjivaceae
     Phyllanthaceae
     Picrodendraceae
     Medusandraceae
     Pandaceae
     Lophopyxidaceae
     Goupiaceae

MALPIGHIALES (1835)
     Malpighiaceae
     Elatinaceae
     Balanopaceae?
     Trigoniaceae
     Dichapetalaceae
     Euphroniaceae
     Chrysobalanaceae

HYPERICALES (1829)
     Hypericaceae
     Podostemaceae
     Clusiaceae
     Bonnetiaceae
     Caryocaraceae
     Quiinaceae
     Ochnaceae
     Medusagynaceae

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