[Taxacom] Euphorbiales/Malpighiales

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Sun Apr 12 20:29:59 CDT 2009

Hi Michael,
      As I recall, Euphorbiales and Malpighiales were both named in the
same publication in 1820.  But whether one has priority over the other
wouldn't really matter anyway, because the ICBN doesn't mandate using
the oldest names at ordinal level.
       When APG (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group) discovered this huge
"super"-Order, but couldn't (and still can't) figure out how the many
subgroups are related to one another, they named it Malpighiales for
some reason (I can't answer your specific question of why they did
this).  But I agree with you that Euphorbiales would have been more
       That is why I am following Thorne and Reveal (2007) in dividing
their huge Order Malpighiales into four orders (Euphorbiales,
Podostemales, Ochnales, and Violales).  Their Euphorbiales includes
Malpighiales in synonymy.  Their Euphorbiales is still somewhat large,
and I suspect one or two separate Orders (such as Linales) should be
carved from it (as I did last year).  But until we have more
information, their division into four Orders is a good compromise.
However, I doubt that I would ever advocate attaching the name
Malpighiales to any Orders which might be separated off from their
Euphorbiales (as it would be easily confused with the "super"-Order
Malpighiales erected by APG).
       ------------Ken Kinman

Michael Heads wrote:
Dear Colleagues,     
Why do some authors call the large order including
Euphorbia 'Malpighiales' instead of Euphorbiales, when Euphorbiaceae
occur just about everywhere and Malpighiaceae are much less common?  

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