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Dianthus caryophyllus L (Clove pink).JPG
Dianthus caryophyllus
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Superasterids
Order: Caryophyllales
Juss. ex Bercht. & J.Presl [1]




Caryophyllales ( /ˌkærifɪˈllz/ KARR-ee-oh-fil-AY-leez) [2] is an order of flowering plants that includes the cacti, carnations, amaranths, ice plants, beets, and many carnivorous plants. Many members are succulent, having fleshy stems or leaves. The betalain pigments are unique in plants of this order and occur in all its families with the exception of Caryophyllaceae and Molluginaceae. [3]



The members of Caryophyllales include about 6% of eudicot species. [4] This order is part of the core eudicots. [5] Currently, the Caryophyllales contains 37 families, 749 genera, and 11,620 species [6] The monophyly of the Caryophyllales has been supported by DNA sequences, cytochrome c sequence data and heritable characters such as anther wall development and vessel-elements with simple perforations. [7]


As with all taxa, the circumscription of Caryophyllales has changed within various classification systems. All systems recognize a core of families with centrospermous ovules and seeds. More recent treatments have expanded the Caryophyllales to include many carnivorous plants.

Systematists were undecided on whether Caryophyllales should be placed within the rosid complex or sister to the asterid clade. [7] The possible connection between sympetalous angiosperms and Caryophyllales was presaged by Bessey, Hutchinson, and others; as Lawrence relates: "The evidence is reasonably conclusive that the Primulaceae and the Caryophyllaceae have fundamentally the same type of gynecia, and as concluded by Douglas (1936)(and essentially Dickson, 1936) '...the vascular pattern and the presence of locules at the base of the ovary point to the fact that the present much reduced flower of the Primulaceae has descended from an ancestor which was characterized by a plurilocular ovary and axial placentation. This primitive flower might well be found in centrospermal stock as Wernham, Bessy, and Hutchinson have suggested.' " [8]

Caryophyllales is separated into two suborders: Caryophyllineae and Polygonineae. [7] These two suborders were formerly (and sometimes still are) recognized as two orders, Polygonales and Caryophyllales. [7]

Cactaceae native to the middle region of South America, at Marsh Botanical Garden. Cactaceae are a plant family, under the order Caryophyllales. Wigginsia Pauciareolata.JPG
Cactaceae native to the middle region of South America, at Marsh Botanical Garden. Cactaceae are a plant family, under the order Caryophyllales.


Kewaceae, Macarthuriaceae, Microteaceae, and Petiveriaceae were added in APG IV. [9]


As circumscribed by the APG III system (2009), this order includes the same families as the APG II system (see below) plus the new families, Limeaceae, Lophiocarpaceae, Montiaceae, Talinaceae, and Anacampserotaceae. [1]


As circumscribed by the APG II system (2003), this order includes well-known plants like cacti, carnations, spinach, beet, rhubarb, sundews, venus fly traps, and bougainvillea. Recent molecular and biochemical evidence has resolved additional well-supported clades within the Caryophyllales.

Cactaceae: Gymnocalycium Matoensea at Yale's Marsh Botanical Garden. Cactaceae: Gymnocalycium Matoensea.JPG
Cactaceaeː Gymnocalycium Matoensea at Yale's Marsh Botanical Garden.


Carnegiea gigantea Carnegiea gigantea top.jpg
Carnegiea gigantea
Sweet William Dwarf from the family Caryophyllaceae Spring Flowers.JPG
Sweet William Dwarf from the family Caryophyllaceae
A flower of Dianthus Flower dianthus.JPG
A flower of Dianthus

This represents a slight change from the APG system, of 1998


Chenopodium album Melganzenvoet bloeiwijze Chenopodium album.jpg
Chenopodium album

The Cronquist system (1981) also recognised the order, with this circumscription:

The difference with the order as recognized by APG lies in the first place in the concept of "order". The APG favours much larger orders and families, and the order Caryophyllales sensu APG should rather be compared to subclass Caryophyllidae sensu Cronquist.

A part of the difference lies with what families are recognized. The plants in the Stegnospermataceae and Barbeuiaceae were included in Cronquist's Phytolaccaceae. The Chenopodiaceae (still recognized by Cronquist) are included in Amaranthaceae by APG.

New to the order (sensu APG) are the Asteropeiaceae and Physenaceae, each containing a single genus, and two genera from Cronquist's order Nepenthales.

Earlier circumscriptions

Earlier systems, such as the Wettstein system, last edition in 1935, and the Engler system, updated in 1964, had a similar order under the name Centrospermae.

Related Research Articles


Nepenthales is an order of carnivorous flowering plants in the Cronquist system of plant classification.

The Cronquist system is a taxonomic classification system of flowering plants. It was developed by Arthur Cronquist in a series of monographs and texts, including The Evolution and Classification of Flowering Plants and An Integrated System of Classification of Flowering Plants (1981).


The Portulacaceae are a family of flowering plants, comprising 115 species in a single genus Portulaca. Formerly some 20 genera with about 500 species, were placed there, but it is now restricted to encompass only one genus, the other genera being placed elsewhere. The family has been recognised by most taxonomists, and is also known as the purslane family. It has a cosmopolitan distribution, with the highest diversity in semiarid regions of the Southern Hemisphere in Africa, Australia, and South America, but with a few species also extending north into Arctic regions. The family is very similar to the Caryophyllaceae, differing in the calyx, which has only two sepals.


Drosophyllum is a genus of carnivorous plants containing the single species Drosophyllum lusitanicum. In appearance, it is similar to the related genus Drosera, and to the much more distantly related Byblis.

A system of plant taxonomy, the Thorne system of plant classification was devised by the American botanist Robert F. Thorne (1920–2015) in 1968, and he continued to issue revisions over many years (1968–2007).

Achatocarpaceae Family of plants

The Achatocarpaceae are a family of woody flowering plants consisting of two genera and 11 known species, and has been recognized by most taxonomists. The family is found from the southwestern United States south to tropical and subtropical South America.

One of the modern systems of plant taxonomy, the Dahlgren system was published by monocot specialist Rolf Dahlgren in 1975 and revised in 1977, and 1980. However, he is best known for his two treatises on monocotyledons in 1982 and revised in 1985. His wife Gertrud Dahlgren continued the work after his death.

The APG system of plant classification is the first version of a modern, mostly molecular-based, system of plant taxonomy. Published in 1998 by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, it was replaced by the improved APG II in 2003, APG III system in 2009 and APG IV system in 2016.

Centrospermae is a descriptive botanical name, published in 1878 by Eichler, meaning "with the seed in the center", referring to the free (central) placentation. It was used in the Engler system and the Wettstein system) for an order of flowering plants.

The Kubitzki system is a system of plant taxonomy devised by Klaus Kubitzki, and is the product of an ongoing survey of vascular plants, entitled The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants, and extending to 15 volumes in 2018. The survey, in the form of an encyclopedia, is important as a comprehensive, multivolume treatment of the vascular plants, with keys to and descriptions of all families and genera, mostly by specialists in those groups. The Kubitzki system served as the basis for classification in Mabberley's Plant-Book, a dictionary of the vascular plants. Mabberley states, in his Introduction on page xi of the 2008 edition, that the Kubitzki system "has remained the standard to which other literature is compared".

A system of plant taxonomy, the Goldberg system was published in:

A 20th-century system of plant taxonomy, the Reveal system of plant classification was drawn up by the American botanist James Reveal (1941-2015). The system was published online in 1997 in ten parts as lecture notes comparing the major systems in use at that time. Subsequently, Reveal became an author with the consensus Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG) on the APG II 2003 and APG III 2009 processes. Although this largely supplanted the earlier and competing systems, he collaborated with Robert Thorne on his system (2007), and subsequently continued to develop his own system.


The Dioncophyllaceae are a family of flowering plants consisting of three species of lianas native to the rainforests of western Africa.

A system of plant taxonomy, the Bessey system was published by Charles Bessey in 1915.


Molluginaceae are a family of flowering plants recognized by several taxonomists. It was previously included in the larger family Aizoaceae. The APG III system of 2009 made no change in the status of the family as compared to the APG II system of 2003 and the APG system of 1998, apart from a reassignment of several genera, such as the placement of Corrigiola and Telephium into Caryophyllaceae, Corbichonia in Lophiocarpaceae, Microtea into Microteaceae and Limeum in Limeaceae, because the family was found to be widely polyphyletic in Caryophyllales. In addition Macarthuria was found not to be related to Limeum as previously thought and thus it was placed in Macarthuriaceae, and similarly species formerly placed in Hypertelis, apart from type species Hypertelis spergulacea, a true Molluginaceae, were found to belong elsewhere and were described as Kewa in the family Kewaceae, named for the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Molluginaceae is still assigned to the order Caryophyllales in the clade core eudicots, although the generic circumscription is difficult because Mollugo is not monophyletic.


Phytolaccaceae is a family of flowering plants. Such a family has been almost universally recognized by taxonomists, although its circumscription has varied. It is also known as the Pokeweed family.

This is the named Melchior system, "a reference in all taxonomic courses", detailing the taxonomic system of the Angiospermae according to A. Engler's Syllabus der Pflanzenfamilien (1964), also known as "modified or updated" Engler system.


Caryophyllineae is a suborder of flowering plants.

The APG III system of flowering plant classification is the third version of a modern, mostly molecular-based, system of plant taxonomy being developed by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG). Published in 2009, it was superseded in 2016 by a further revision, the APG IV system.

The APG IV system of flowering plant classification is the fourth version of a modern, mostly molecular-based, system of plant taxonomy for flowering plants (angiosperms) being developed by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG). It was published in 2016, seven years after its predecessor the APG III system was published in 2009, and 18 years after the first APG system was published in 1998. In 2009, a linear arrangement of the system was published separately; the APG IV paper includes such an arrangement, cross-referenced to the 2009 one.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 161 (2): 105–121. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x . Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
  2. Clarke, Ian; Lee, Helen (2003). Name that Flower: The Identification of Flowering Plants . Melbourne University Publishing. p.  56. ISBN   978-0-522-85060-4.
  3. Kubitzki, Klaus; Bayer, Clemens; Cuenoud, Philippe (January 2003). Flowering Plants · Dicotyledons: Malvales, Capparales and Non-betalain Caryophyllales. pp. 1–4. ISBN   978-3-642-07680-0.
  4. "Caryophyllales". Angiosperm Phylogeny Website .
  5. Judd., W.; Campbell, C.; Kellogg, E.; Stevens, P.; Donoghue, M. (2008). Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach (3rd ed.). W. H. Freeman. ISBN   978-0-87893-407-2.
  6. Stephens, P.F. (2020). "Angiosperm Phylogeny Website". Version 14. Retrieved 10 June 2020.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Juan, R.; Pastor, J.; Alaiz, M.; Vioque, J. (1 September 2007). "Electrophoretic characterization of Amaranthus L. seed proteins and its systematic implications". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 155 (1): 57–63. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8339.2007.00665.x .
  8. Lawrence, G.H.M (1960). Taxonomy of Vascular Plants. Macmillan. p. 660.
  9. Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2016). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 181 (1): 1–20. doi: 10.1111/boj.12385 .