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Dactylis glomerata bluete2.jpeg
Cock's-foot grass ( Dactylis glomerata )
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Diversity [ citation needed ]
About 1,420 genera

In plant taxonomy, commelinids (originally commelinoids [1] [2] ) (plural, not capitalised) is an APG IV system named clade within the monocots within the angiosperms, distinguished by cell walls containing ferulic acid. [3] [4]


The commelinids are the only clade that the APG has informally named within the monocots. The remaining monocots are a paraphyletic unit. Also known as the commelinid monocots it forms one of three groupings within the monocots, and the final branch, the other two groups being the alismatid monocots and the lilioid monocots.


Members of the commelinid clade have cell walls containing UV-fluorescent ferulic acid. [3] [4]


The commelinids were first recognized as a formal group in 1967 by Armen Takhtajan, who named them the Commelinidae and assigned them as a subclass to Liliopsida (monocots). [5] The name was also used in the 1981 Cronquist system. However, by the release of his 1980 system of classification, Takhtajan had merged this subclass into a larger one, and no longer considered to be a clade.

Takhtajan system

In the Takhtajan system treated this as one of six subclasses within the class Liliopsida (=monocotyledons). It consisted of:

Cronquist system

The Cronquist system treated this as one of four subclasses within the class Liliopsida. It consisted of:

APG system

The APG II system does not use formal botanical names above the rank of order; most of the members were assigned to the clade commelinids in the monocots (its predecessor, the APG system used the clade commelinoids). [6] [7] The commelinids now constitute a well-supported clade within the monocots, [8] and this clade has been recognized in all four APG classification systems.

Cladogram 1: The phylogenetic composition of the monocots [9]
monocots  131






Dioscoreales 115

Pandanales 91

Liliales 121


Asparagales 120

commelinids 118






Alismatid monocots


The commelinids of APG II (2003) and APG III (2009) contain essentially the same plants as the commelinoids of the earlier APG system (1998). [8] In APG IV (2016) the family Dasypogonaceae is no longer directly placed under commelinids but instead a family of order Arecales. [9]

clade monocots :
  • clade commelinids:





The current phylogeny and composition of the commelinids. [10]

Related Research Articles

Alismatales Order of herbaceous flowering plants of marshy and aquatic habitats

The Alismatales (alismatids) are an order of flowering plants including about 4500 species. Plants assigned to this order are mostly tropical or aquatic. Some grow in fresh water, some in marine habitats.


Arecales is an order of flowering plants. The order has been widely recognised only for the past few decades; until then, the accepted name for the order including these plants was Principes.

Commelinales Order of flowering plants

Commelinales is the botanical name of an order of flowering plants. It comprises five families: Commelinaceae, Haemodoraceae, Hanguanaceae, Philydraceae, and Pontederiaceae. All the families combined contain over 885 species in about 70 genera; the majority of species are in the Commelinaceae. Plants in the order share a number of synapomorphies that tie them together, such as a lack of mycorrhizal associations and tapetal raphides. Estimates differ as to when the Comminales evolved, but most suggest an origin and diversification sometime during the mid- to late Cretaceous. Depending on the methods used, studies suggest a range of origin between 123 and 73 million years, with diversification occurring within the group 110 to 66 million years ago. The order's closest relatives are in the Zingiberales, which includes ginger, bananas, cardamom, and others.

Liliales Order of monocot flowering plants, including lilies

Liliales is an order of monocotyledonous flowering plants in the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group and Angiosperm Phylogeny Web system, within the lilioid monocots. This order of necessity includes the family Liliaceae. The APG III system (2009) places this order in the monocot clade. In APG III, the family Luzuriagaceae is combined with the family Alstroemeriaceae and the family Petermanniaceae is recognized. Both the order Lililiales and the family Liliaceae have had a widely disputed history, with the circumscription varying greatly from one taxonomist to another. Previous members of this order, which at one stage included most monocots with conspicuous tepals and lacking starch in the endosperm are now distributed over three orders, Liliales, Dioscoreales and Asparagales, using predominantly molecular phylogenetics. The newly delimited Liliales is monophyletic, with ten families. Well known plants from the order include Lilium (lily), tulip, the North American wildflower Trillium, and greenbrier.

Poales Order of monocotyledonous flowering plants

The Poales are a large order of flowering plants in the monocotyledons, and includes families of plants such as the grasses, bromeliads, and sedges. Sixteen plant families are currently recognized by botanists to be part of Poales.


The Zingiberales are flowering plants forming one of four orders in the commelinids clade of monocots, together with its sister order, Commelinales. The order includes 68 genera and 2,600 species. Zingiberales are a unique though morphologically diverse order that has been widely recognised as such over a long period of time. They are usually large herbaceous plants with rhizomatous root systems and lacking an aerial stem except when flowering. Flowers are usually large and showy, and the stamens are often modified (staminodes) to also form colourful petal-like structures that attract pollinators.

Dicotyledon Historical grouping of flowering plants

The dicotyledons, also known as dicots, are one of the two groups into which all the flowering plants or angiosperms were formerly divided. The name refers to one of the typical characteristics of the group, namely that the seed has two embryonic leaves or cotyledons. There are around 200,000 species within this group. The other group of flowering plants were called monocotyledons or monocots, typically having one cotyledon. Historically, these two groups formed the two divisions of the flowering plants.


The Nymphaeales are an order of flowering plants, consisting of three families of aquatic plants, the Hydatellaceae, the Cabombaceae, and the Nymphaeaceae. It is one of the three orders of basal angiosperms, an early-diverging grade of flowering plants. At least 10 morphological characters unite the Nymphaeales. Molecular synapomorphies are also known.

Hydatellales is a botanical name for an order of flowering plants. In the Cronquist system, 1981, the name was used for an order placed in the subclass Commelinidae in class Liliopsida [=monocotyledons]. The order consisted of one family only:

Monocotyledon Important clade of flowering plants

Monocotyledons, commonly referred to as monocots, are grass and grass-like flowering plants (angiosperms), the seeds of which typically contain only one embryonic leaf, or cotyledon. They constitute one of the major groups into which the flowering plants have traditionally been divided, the rest of the flowering plants having two cotyledons and therefore classified as dicotyledons, or dicots.

LiliopsidaBatsch is a botanical name for the class containing the family Liliaceae. It is considered synonymous with the name monocotyledon. Publication of the name is credited to Scopoli : see author citation (botany). This name is formed by replacing the termination -aceae in the name Liliaceae by the termination -opsida.


The Xyridaceae are a family of flowering plants. The botanical name has been recognized by many taxonomists and is known as the yellow-eyed grass family.


The Thurniaceae are a family of flowering plants composed of two genera with four species. The botanical name has been recognized by most taxonomists.

The APG II system of plant classification is the second, now obsolete, version of a modern, mostly molecular-based, system of plant taxonomy that was published in April 2003 by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group. It was a revision of the first APG system, published in 1998, and was superseded in 2009 by a further revision, the APG III system.


Cyclanthaceae is a family of flowering plants.


The Rapateaceae are a family of flowering plants. The botanical name has been recognized by most taxonomists.


Hanguana is a genus of flowering plants with a dozen known species. It is the only genus in the family Hanguanaceae.


Philydraceae is a family of flowering plants composed of three genera and a total of six known species. Such a family has not been recognized by many taxonomists.


Lilianae is a botanical name for a superorder of flowering plants. Such a superorder of necessity includes the type family Liliaceae. Terminations at the rank of superorder are not standardized by the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN), although the suffix -anae has been proposed.

Lilioid monocots Grade of flowering pant orders, within Lilianae

Lilioid monocots is an informal name used for a grade of five monocot orders in which the majority of species have flowers with relatively large, coloured tepals. This characteristic is similar to that found in lilies ("lily-like"). Petaloid monocots refers to the flowers having tepals which all resemble petals (petaloid). The taxonomic terms Lilianae or Liliiflorae have also been applied to this assemblage at various times. From the early nineteenth century many of the species in this group of plants were put into a very broadly defined family, Liliaceae sensu lato or s.l.. These classification systems are still found in many books and other sources. Within the monocots the Liliaceae s.l. were distinguished from the Glumaceae.


  1. APG (1998). "An ordinal classification for the families of flowering plants". Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden . 85 (4): 531–553. doi:10.2307/2992015. JSTOR   2992015.
  2. APG II (2003). "An Update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group Classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG II". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society . 141 (4): 399–436. doi: 10.1046/j.1095-8339.2003.t01-1-00158.x .
  3. 1 2 Harris & Hartley 1976.
  4. 1 2 Dahlgren, R. M. T.; Rassmussen, F. (1983). "Monocotyledon evolution. Characters and phylogenetic estimation". Evolutionary Biology. 16. pp. 255–395. doi:10.1007/978-1-4615-6971-8_7. ISBN   978-1-4615-6973-2.
  5. Takhtajan, A. (1967). Система и филогения цветкорых растений (Systema et Phylogenia Magnoliophytorum). Moscow: Nauka.
  6. the official APG website
  7. "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG II". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 141 (4): 399–436. 2003. doi: 10.1046/j.1095-8339.2003.t01-1-00158.x .
  8. 1 2 Cantino, Philip D.; James A. Doyle; Sean W. Graham; Walter S. Judd; Richard G. Olmstead; Douglas E. Soltis; Pamela S. Soltis; Michael J. Donoghue (2007). "Towards a phylogenetic nomenclature of Tracheophyta". Taxon. 56 (3): E1–E44. doi:10.2307/25065865. JSTOR   25065865.
  9. 1 2 APG IV 2016.
  10. "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. 2009. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x .


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