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Clusia rosea botanical.jpg
Clusia rosea
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Clusiaceae
Lindl. [1]
Type genus


The Clusiaceae or GuttiferaeJuss. (1789) (nom. alt. et cons. = alternative and valid name) are a family of plants including 13 genera and ca 750 species,. [2] Several former members of Clusiacae are now placed in Calophyllaceae and Hypericaceae. They are mostly trees and shrubs, [3] with milky sap and fruits or capsules for seeds. The family is primarily tropical. [3] More so than many plant families, it shows large variation in plant morphology (for example, three to 10, fused or unfused petals, and many other traits). [3] According to the APG III, this family belongs to the order Malpighiales.


One feature which is sometimes found in this family, and rarely in others (e.g., Malpighiaceae), is providing pollinators with rewards other than pollen or nectar; specifically, some species offer resin which bees use in nest construction (all three rewards are found in different species of the Clusiaceae). [3]

Taxonomic history

The family Clusiaceae was divided by Cronquist into two subfamilies: the Clusioideae (typical subfamily) and the Hypericoideae. The latter was often treated as a family—the Hypericaceae or St. John's wort family. Elements of the Hypericoideae are more common in northern temperate areas and those of the Clusioideae are centered in the tropics.

Later classifications, however, divide the family in a finer way. Molecular studies have shown that the family Podostemaceae—the riverweeds—as well as the Bonnetiaceae are nested in this group. Their inclusions make the Clusiaceae in a wide sense polyphyletic, and Stevens's subfamilies need to be recognised at family level: Clusioideae as Clusiaceae sensu stricto; Hypericoideae as Hypericaceae; and Kielmeyeroideae as Calophyllaceae. [4] [5]


Following Ruhfel et al. (2011) [6]

Tribe Clusieae
Tribe Garcinieae
Garcinia tinctoria Garcinia tinctoria 02.jpg
Garcinia tinctoria
Clusia grandiflora Clusiaceae (Clusia grandiflora) (39987981371).jpg
Clusia grandiflora
Tribe Symphonieae
Montrouziera sphaeroidea Montrouziera sphaeroidea (Yate) - rameau.jpg
Montrouziera sphaeroidea

See also

Related Research Articles

Malpighiales Eudicot order of flowering plants

The Malpighiales comprise one of the largest orders of flowering plants, containing about 36 families and more than 16,000 species, about 7.8% of the eudicots. The order is very diverse, containing plants as different as the willow, violet, poinsettia, manchineel, rafflesia and coca plant, and are hard to recognize except with molecular phylogenetic evidence. It is not part of any of the classification systems based only on plant morphology. Molecular clock calculations estimate the origin of stem group Malpighiales at around 100 million years ago (Mya) and the origin of crown group Malpighiales at about 90 Mya.


Ceratophyllaceae is a cosmopolitan family of flowering plants including one living genus commonly found in ponds, marshes, and quiet streams in tropical and in temperate regions. It is the only extant family in the order Ceratophyllales. Species are commonly called coontails or hornworts, although hornwort is also used for unrelated plants of the division Anthocerotophyta.


Melanthiaceae, also called the bunchflower family, is a family of flowering herbaceous perennial plants native to the Northern Hemisphere. Along with many other lilioid monocots, early authors considered members of this family to belong to the family Liliaceae, in part because both their sepals and petals closely resemble each other and are often large and showy like those of lilies, while some more recent taxonomists have placed them in a family Trilliaceae. The most authoritative modern treatment, however, the APG III system of 2009, places the family in the order Liliales, in the clade monocots. Circumscribed in this way, the family includes up to 17 genera.

Hypericaceae Family of flowering plants (St. Johns wort family)

Hypericaceae is a plant family in the order Malpighiales, comprising six to nine genera and up to 700 species, and commonly known as the St. John’s wort family. Members are found throughout the world apart from extremely cold or dry habitats. Hypericum and Triadenum occur in temperate regions but other genera are mostly tropical.

Colchicaceae Family of monocot flowering plants, in order Liliales

Colchicaceae is a family of flowering plants that includes 15 genera with a total of about 285 known species according to Christenhusz and Byng in 2016.


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.


Platonia insignis, the sole species of the genus Platonia, is a tree of the family Clusiaceae native to South America in the humid forests of Brazil, Paraguay, parts of Colombia and northeast to Guyana; specially in Amazon Rainforest. Common names include bacuri, maniballi, naranjillo and bacurizeiro.


Ochnaceae is a family of flowering plants in the order Malpighiales. In the APG III system of classification of flowering plants, Ochnaceae is defined broadly, to include about 550 species, and encompasses what some taxonomists have treated as the separate families Medusagynaceae and Quiinaceae. In a phylogenetic study that was published in 2014, Ochnaceae was recognized in the broad sense, but two works published after APG III have accepted the small families Medusagynaceae and Quiinaceae. These have not been accepted by APG IV (2016).


The family Pandaceae consists of three genera that were formerly recognized in the Euphorbiaceae. Those are:


Podostemaceae, a family in the order Malpighiales, comprise about 46 genera and ca 300 species of more or less thalloid aquatic herbs. Riverweeds adhere to hard surfaces in rapids and waterfalls of rivers. They are found mostly in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide. Many species are found in a very small geographic area, often even just a single river or waterfall. Because of their small range, many species are seriously threatened, especially from habitat loss. Riverweeds are submerged when water levels are high, but during the dry season they live a terrestrial existence, flowering at this time. Their root anatomy is specialized for the purpose of clinging to rocks, and in fact details of the root structure are one of the ways of classifying riverweeds.

Malpighiaceae Family of flowering plants

Malpighiaceae is a family of flowering plants in the order Malpighiales. It comprises about 73 genera and 1315 species, all of which are native to the tropics and subtropics. About 80% of the genera and 90% of the species occur in the New World and the rest in the Old World.


Hypoxidaceae is a family of flowering plants, placed in the order Asparagales of the monocots.


Bonnetiaceae is a family of flowering plants, consisting of 4 genera and 41 species. The family is Neotropical, with the exception of the genus Ploiarium, which is found in Malesia. It is sister to the family Clusiaceae.


Chrysobalanaceae is a family of flowering plants, consisting of trees and shrubs in 18 genera and about 533 species of pantropical distribution with a centre of diversity in the Amazon. Some of the species contain silica in their bodies for rigidity and so the mesophyll often has sclerenchymatous idioblasts. The widespread species Chrysobalanus icaco produces a plum-like fruit and the plant is commonly known as the coco plum.


Boryaceae is a family of highly drought-tolerant flowering plants native to Australia, placed in the order Asparagales of the monocots. The family includes two genera, with twelve species in total in Australia.


Huaceae is a family of plant in the rosids group, which has been classed in the orders Malpighiales, Malvales, and Violales or in its own order Huales. The APG II system placed it in the clade eurosids I, whereas the APG III system of 2009 and APG IV (2016) place it within the Oxalidales. The family is endemic to central Africa. It contains four species in the following two genera:


Calophyllaceae is a family of flowering plants in the order Malpighiales and is recognized by the APG III system of classification. Most of the 14 genera and 475 species included in this family were previously recognized in the tribe Calophylleae of the family Clusiaceae. The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group determined that splitting this clade of genera off into their own family was necessary.


Centroplacaceae is a family of flowering plants in the order Malpighiales and is recognized by the APG III system of classification. The family comprises two genera: Bhesa, which was formerly recognized in the Celastraceae, and Centroplacus, which was formerly recognized in the Euphorbiaceae, together comprising six species. The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group determined that based on previous phylogenetic analysis, these two genera formed an isolated clade and recognition of the family was "reasonable."


Peraceae Klotzsch is a family of flowering plants in the eudicot order Malpighiales. The family was segregated from the Euphorbiaceae by Johann Friedrich Klotzsch in 1859, and its uniqueness was affirmed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew's Euphorbiaceae expert, Airy Shaw.


  1. 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 .
  2. Christenhusz, M. J. M. & Byng, J. W. (2016). "The number of known plants species in the world and its annual increase". Phytotaxa. 261 (3): 201–217. doi: 10.11646/phytotaxa.261.3.1 .
  3. 1 2 3 4 Gustafsson, Mats H. G. (2002), "Phylogeny of Clusiaceae Based on rbcL sequences", International Journal of Plant Sciences, 163 (6): 1045–1054, doi:10.1086/342521, JSTOR   3080291
  4. Stevens, P. F. (1980). A revision of the Old World species of Calophyllum (Guttiferae). J. Arnold Arboretum 61:117–699.
  5. APG III (2009)
  6. Ruhfel, B. R., V. Bittrich, C. P. Bove, M. H. G. Gustafsson, C. T. Philbrick, R. Rutishauser, Z. Xi, and C. C. Davis. (2011) Phylogeny of the Clusioid Clade (Malpighiales): Evidence from the Plastid and Mitochondrial Genomes. American Journal of Botany 98: 306–25.