[Taxacom] Family Epacridaceae (and Order Ericales)

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Sun Mar 29 14:17:15 CDT 2009

Dear All, 
       I am going to give my classification of Order
Ericales below, since Family Epacridaceae is apparently a very sore
point among botanists who are not happy with the instability caused by
some of APG's cladifications. Not only has APG dumped it into Family
Ericaceae, but due to one year of priority, the subfamily name became
Styphelioideae. That just added insult to injury.
       That move was unnecessary and designed to solve a
paraphyly "problem". Anderberg, 1993, says in his abstract: "It is thus
concluded that the Ericaceae are a paraphyletic assemblage as presently
circumscribed and that Empetraceae and Epacridaceae are better treated
as members of the Ericaceae."      
       Empetraceae was small, so reducing it to tribe
status is not so troubling. However, Epacridaceae is a different matter.
Not only in its larger size, and the name change (to Styphelioideae),
but there is also uncertainty about its sister group. It is presently
regarded as a sister to Subfamily Vaccinioideae. However if its sister
group is actually a subclade of Vaccinioideae (making it paraphyletic),
another round of changes would be needed to recladify it. It just isn't
worth the instability and uncertainty.         
       Keeping a separate Family Epacridaceae would not
only add ancestor-descendant information to the family classification,
but would stabilize it no matter what its sister group turns out to be.
So here is my classification of Order Ericales. Note that this is not
the big bloated Ericales of APG (overlumped in my opinion, as are their
Orders Malpighiales and Poales). As always, the main clades are numbered
(in the order they split off cladistically), subclades are lettered, and
_a_ shows that Epacridaceae has a sister group within the paraphyletic
family Ericaceae. I would place an {{Epacridaceae}} exgroup marker
within any classification of Family Ericaceae (next to its sister group,
which presently seems to be Subfamily Vaccinioideae). 

   Order Ericales
       1  Sarraceniaceae
       B  Roridulaceae
       C  Actinidiaceae
       2  Clethraceae
       3  Cyrillaceae
       4  Ericaceae%
     _a_ Epacridaceae 


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