Malvaceae Info: History of Classification (Draft)

Malvaceae Info (Home)

The table below gives a rough summary of how malvaceous taxa have been divided into families in the past, in terms of the elements Malvaceae s.s. (Malv.), Matisieae (Mat.), Bombacoideae s.s. (excluding Matisieae & Fremontodendreae) (Bomb.), Durioneae (Dur.), Fremontodendreae (Frem.), Helictereae (Helict.), Sterculioideae (Sterc,), Dombeyoideae (Domb.), Lasiopetaleae (Lasio.), Hermannieae (Herm.), Byttnerieae (Bytt.), Theobromateae (Theo.), Brownlowioideae (Brown.), Grew. (Grewioideae), Tilioideae (Til.), and also showing the inclusion of Muntingiaceae (Munt.), Elaeocarpaceae (Elaeo.), Prockieae (Prock.), Bixaceae (Bix.), Plagiipteraceae (Plag.) and Sphaerosepalaceae (Sphaer.) within otherwise malvaceaous families. This is an oversimplication, as not only have these elements been shuffled between families, but genera have been shuffled around. For more details see the descriptions of classificaitions following the table.

The families most commonly recognised were Malvaceae, Bombacaceae, Sterculiaceaes, Byttneriaceae and Tiliaceae. These are shown by red, orange, green, cyan, and blue cells respectively. Yellow represents Hermanniaceae (or Melochiaceae) and magenta cells, in various shades, other segregant families, grey cells non-malvaceous families such as Tithymalaceae, Muntingiaceae, Elaeocarpaceae, Flacourtiaceae, Bixaceae, Plagiopteraceae and Sphaerosepalceae, white cells groups which were not known at the time, and blank cells taxa for which I lack data, either because they were not known when the classification was made, were not in the scope of the work in question (e.g. a regional flora), or because I haven't found the relevant bit of the work.

Other segregate families include Berryaceae Doweld (2001), Cacaoaceae Augier ex T. Post & Kuntze (1903), Chiranthodendraceae A. Gray (1887), Dombeyaceae Kunth ex Desf. (1829) , Durionaceae Cheek (2006), Fremontiaceae J. Agardh, nom. illeg..(1858), Fugosiaceae Martinov, nom. illeg. (1820), Grewiaceae (Dippel) Doweld & Reveal (2005), Helicteraceae J. Agardh (1858), Hermanniaceae Bercht. & J. Presl (1820), Hibiscaceae J. Agardh (1858), Lasiopetalaceae Rchb. (1823), Melochiaceae J. Agardh (1858), Pentapetaceae Spreng. (1826), Philippodendraceae (Endl.) Juss. (1847), Plagianthaceae J. Agardh (1858), Sparmanniaceae J. Agardh, nom. cons.(1858), Sterculiaceae Vent, ex Salisb., nom. cons. (1807), Theobromataceae J. Agardh (1858) and Triplobaceae Raf., (1838)

  Elements of Malvaceae Other taxa
author, data Malv. Mat. Bomb. Dur. Frem. Helict. Sterc. Domb. Lasio. Herm. Bytt. Theo. Brown. Grew. Til. Munt. Elaeo. Prock. Bix. Others
van Royen (1740)                                       1
B. Jussieu (1759)                                       2
Adanson, 1763                                       3
A.L. Jussieu, 1774, 1789                                       4
Necker, 1790                                      
v. vi. vii.
Desfontaines, 1804                                        
Kunth, 1821, 1882                                        
Gay, 1821                                        
De Candolle, 1824                                        
Desfontaines, 1829                                        
G. Don, 1831                                        
Spach, 1834                                        
Meissner, 1836ff                                        
Vaucher, 1841                                        
Walpers, 1842                                        
Bentham, 1844                                        
Lindley, 1846                                      
Agardh, 1858                                      
Miquel, 1859                                        
Grisebach, 1864                                        
Bentham & Hooker, 1865                                       xx.
Masters, 1868, 1875                                        
Warming, 1878                                        
Schumann, 1886ff                                        
Kuntze, 1891                                        
Hutchinson, 1926                                        
Edlin, 1935                                      
Waton & Dallwitz                                        
Thorne, 2000                                        
Thorne & Reveal, 2005                                        
Shipunov, 2005                                        
1. Geranium (including Pelargonium) (Geraniaceae) is placed in Columniferae.
1. Stewartia, Camellia and Gordonia (Theaceae or Ternstromiaceae) are placed in Malvaceae; Thea (=Camellia), Tribulus (Zygophyllaceae) and Magnoliaceae in Tiliaceae.
2. Stewartia, Camellia (Theaceae or Ternstromiaceae) and Lagerstroemia (Lythraceae) in Malvaceae; Aceraceae, Hippocastanaceae, Hamamelis (Hamamelidaceae) in Tiliaceae
iii. Malachodendron, Gordonia (Theaceae or Ternstroemiaceae)
iv. Flacourtiacacee, Stewartia (Theaceae or Ternstromiaceae)
xx. Plagiopteraceae, Sphaerosepalaceae

Perhaps the earliest recognition of Malvaceae as a distinct group of plants was by Adrianus van Royen in his Flora Leydensis (1749), who, in an essay at a natural classification of plants divided them into 20 classes, 6 of which are recognisable as modern families. One of these is Columniferae, which in his work incorporates Malvaceae s.s. and Hermannieae. Theobromateae, Grewioideae and Tilioideae (together with Bixa, which was often placed in Tiliaceae during the following century) are to found among a heterogenous grouping to which he gave the name Polyantherae.

Bernard Jussieu in 1759 (reprinted in Antoine Laurent de Jussieu's Genera Plantarum)

¶ The earliest recognition of Malvaceae as a distinct group of plants is difficult to identify. Adrianus van Royen in his Flora Leydensis (1749) incorporates in his Columniferae Malvaceae s. s. and Hermannieae.

The origin of the concept of Malvaceae can be traced back to Adanson and Jussieu, if not to the Columniferae of Linnaeus. Both Adanson and Jussieu may be given as the authority for the names Malvaceae and Tiliaceae.

In his "Philosophia Botanica" (1751) Carl von Linne (Carolus Linnaeus) ... Culminiae, Columniferae

In his "Familles des plantes" (1763) Michel Adanson divides most of the plants now recognised as malvaceous into his 48th (Tilieæ) and 50th (Malveæ) families. The number of genera listed is relatively small,. and consequently many elements of Malvaceae are represented by only a single genus, or are unrepresented, which makes the position of the various elements of Malvaceae in his classification not totally unambiguous. Howerver, his Malveae (pp. 390ff) includes Malvoideae, Bombacoideae (Adansonia, Bombax), Durioneae (Durio), Dombeyoideae (Pentapetes), Byttnerieae (Byttneria) and Hermannieae (Waltheria) as well as a number of genera more recently placed in Theaceae or Ternstromiaceae (Stewartia, Camellia) and Lythraceae (Lagerstroemia). His Tilieæ (pp. 378ff) include Tilioideae and Grewioideae and an assortment of other elements, including Helicteroideae (Helicteres), Theobromeae (Guazuma), Bixaceae, Muntingiaceae and Elaeocarpaceae (Sloanea). as well as a hamamelidaceous plant. Sterculia (as Cavalam) is placed in Tithymalaceae (Tithymali), a family which does not correspond closely to any modern family. Sasali (now considered a synonym of Grewia) and Byttneria are placed in Zizyphaceae (Zizyphi), another family not corresponding closely to any modern family. Hermannia and Melochia (but not Waltheria) are placed in Geraniaceae.

*** Need more of the book to check what he did with Lasiopetaleae and Brownlowioideae ***

In the "Genera Plantarum" (1789) Antoine Laurent de Jussieu also divides the group into two families, the 14th (Malvaceæ) and 19th (Tiliaceae) orders of his 13th class. His Malvaceæ incorporates Malvoideae, Bombacoideae, Helicteroideae, Dombeyoideae, Byttnerieae, Theobromateae and Sterculioideae, as well as a number of genera more recently placed in Theaceae or Ternstroemiaceae (Malachodendron, Gordonia) and Linaceae (Hugonia). His Tiliaceæ incorporates Tilioideae, Grewioideae and Hermannieae, as well as Flacourtiaceae, Elaeocarpaceae and Bixaceae, and Stewartia.

Jussieu expressed doubts as to the incorporation of Hermannieae into Tiliaceae, listing them as Tiliaceæ dubiæ; the remaining genera were given as Tiliaceæ veræ or Genera Tiliaceis affinia.
Jussieu's "Genera Plantarum" was first printed in 1774. I don't know what differences, if any, exist between the 1774 and 1789 printings.

In his "Elementa Botanica" (1790) Necker presents a classification strikingly less modern in aspect than those of Adanson and Jussieu. He divides his plants into 54 groups, all given names ending in -phytum, and although named as genera, corresponding roughly in rank to a family. Three of these groups can be recognised as malavaceous, although in each case contaiing several other genera, some of which are distantly related. Omoplephytum contains genera from Malvoideae and Bombacoidae, and also Dulacia (Olacacae), Mesua (Clusiaceae), Barringtonia (Lecythidaceae) and Camellia, Gordonia and Stewartia (Theaceae or Ternstroemiaceae). Comizophytum contains most genera from Byttnerioideae (including Kleinhovia, but not Byttneria, with Hermannieae as the core of the group), and also 19 other genera, currently placed in several other families. His Dapsilophytum includes a variety of genera from Tilioideae and Grewioideae, other taxa often placed in Tiliaceae by later workers (Muntingia, Bixa, Sloanea, Banara) and a variety of other genera from Capparadaceae, Clusiaceae, Lamiaceae and other families.

His Synathrophytum includes Helicteres, among a considerable number of genera, including members of Magnoliales, Ranunculaceae and Crassulaceae.

In his "Tableau de l'école de botanique du Muséum d'histoire naturelle" (1804) Desfontaines ...

*** May be missing parts of Tiliaceae - get following pages from Gallica ***

¶* Sterculiaceae was introduced by Ventenat in Salisbury's "Parad. Lond" (1807). I have not seen this work, so I am unaware of with which scope the name was introduced.

¶* Byttneriaceae was introduced by R. Brown in his "Botany of Terra Australis" (1814). The restricted scope of this work means that it is not possible to identify what bounds he saw for this, or other families, but it can be seen that his Buttneriaceae incorporated at least Byttnerieae and Lasiopetaleae.

* In the 2nd edition of his "Theorie Elementaire de la Botanique" (1819) Augustin de Candolle divides the malvaceaous plants into Malvaceae, Byttneriaceae, Sterculiaceae and Tiliaceae. Elaeocarpacaceae are not included in Tiliaceae. (Data taken from Lindley's "Vegetable Kingdom" (1847); the composition of his families is not known to me.)

Bombacaceae was introduced by Kunth in Humbert & Bonpland's "Nova genera et species plantarum" (1821). In this work he divides the malvaceous taxa between Malvaceæ, Bombaceæ, Buttneriaceæ and Tiliaceæ. His Bombaceae includes not only Matisieae, Bombacoideae s.s. (and presumably Durioneae), but also Fremontodendreae (Chiranthodendron) and Helictereae (Helicteres). His Malvaceæ is Malvaceae s.s, his Buttneriaceæ corresponds to the Sterculiaceae of other authors, incorporating Sterculioideae, (presumably) Dombeyoideae and Byttnerioideae, and his Tiliaceæ Brownlowioideae, Grewioideae and Tilioideae.

¶* In his "Mag. Aesth. Bot." (1823) Reichenbach introduced the family Lasiopetalaceae (Lasiopetaleae). I have not seen this, so I am unaware of with which scope the name was introduced

In his "Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis" (1824) Augustin de Candolle divides the malvaceous taxa into four families in much the same way as Kunth. However, Plagianthus and Montezuma (a segregate of Thespesia) are placed in Bombacacae rather than Malvaceae, and Goethea (a segregate of Pavonia) in Byttneriaceae rather than Malvacee. His Tiliaceae includes Muntingiaceae and Gyrostemonacaeae.

In his "Catalogus plantarum horti regii parisiensis, cum annotationibus de plantis novis aut minus cognitis" (1829) Desfontaines has a classification similar to the De Candolle's but segregates, separately, Hermannieae and Dombeyoideae, as Hermanieae and Dombeyeae. Muntingia and Gyrostemonaceae are not included in Tiliaceae, but Bixaceae and Flacourtia are.

* In his "Ordines Naturales Plantarum" (1830) Bartling divides the malvaceous families into the same six families (Malvaceae, Dombeyaceae, Hermanniaceae, Byttneriaceae, Sterculiaceae and Tiliaceae) as Desfontaines above, but excludes Bixaceae from Tiliaceae. (Data taken from Lindley's "Vegetable Kingdom" (1847); the composition of his families is not known to me.)

In his "General History of the Dichlamydeous Plants" (1831) G. Don divides the malvaceous families into 5 families, in a manner similar to that of De Candolle, but with Sterculioideae (and Reevesia) segregated as Sterculiaceae. His Tiliaceae includes Gyrostemonaceae.

* In his "Nixus Plantarum" (1833) Lindley divideds the malvaceaeous taxa into the three families Malvaceae, Sterculiaceae and Tiliaceae. Elaeocarpaceae and Bixaceae are excluded from Tiliaceae. (Data taken from Lindley's "Vegetable Kingdom" (1847); the composition of his families here is not known to me.)

In his "Histoire Naturelle des Végétaux" (1834) Spach divides the Columniferae into the 5 families Malvaceae, Sterculiaceae, Dombeyaceae, Hermanniaceae and Byttneriaceae (I haven't seen the volume which covers Tiliaceae). He divides Malvaceae into two tribes, the first (Malveae) corresponding to Malvaceae s.s., and the second (Bombaceae) incorportating Bombacoideae (including Fremontodendreae) and Helicteroideae. (Helicteres apetala is misplaced in Sterculia, and Reevesia treated as an anomalous genus in Sterculiaceae.) Dombeyaceae corresponds to Dombeyoideae, with the addition of Kydia. Hermanniaceae corresponds to Hermannieae, and Byttneriaceae to the remainder of Byttnerioideae.

(1835) Martius ...

In his "Repertorium botanices systematicae" (1842) Walpers divides the malvaceae taxa into the 5 families Malvaceae, Sterculiaceae, Byttneriaceae, Philippodendraceae and Tiliaceae. His Sterculiaceae includes Matisieae, Bombacoideae, Helicteroideae and Sterculioideae; his Byttneriaceae Dombeyoideae and Byttnerioideae; his Philippodendraceae Plagianthus regius; and his Tiliaceae includes Brownlowioideae, Grewioideae and Tilioideae, as well as Muntingiaceae and Elaeocarpaceae. Plagianthus and related genera are placed in subtribe Myrodieae of tribe Helictereae in Sterculiaceae.

In his "Vegetable Kingdom" (1847) Lindley ...

¶ In his "Theoria systematis plantarum" (1858) Agardh divides malvaceous plants into Sparmanniaceae, Byttneriaceae (Büttneriaceae), Sterculiaceae, Helicteraceae (Helictereae), Theobromataceae (Theobromeae), Fremontiaceae (Fremontieae), Bombacaceae (Bombaceae), Tiliaceae, Lasiopetalaceae (Lasiopetaleae), Melochiaceae (Melochieae), Plagianthaceae (Plagiantheae), Malvaceae and Hibiscaceae (Hibiscseae). Of these families Fremontiaceae, Helicteraceae, Hibiscaceae, Melochiaceae, Plagianthaceae, Sparmanniaceae and Theobromataceae are original to this work.

In Oliver's "Flora of Tropical Africa" (1868) and Hooker's "Flora of British India" (1875), Masters divides malvaceous plants into the three families Malvaceæ, Sterculiacæ and Tiliaceae. Bombacoideae and Durioneae are placed in Malvaceæ. Elaeocarpaceae is included in Tiliaceæ

In his "A Handbook of Systematic Botany" (1878)) Eugenius Warming divides the Columniferae into Malvaceae (Malvoidae, Bombacoideae and Durioneae), Sterculiaceae (Byttneroideae, Dombeyoideae, Helictereae and Sterculioideae) and Tiliaceae (Brownlowioideae, Grewioideae, Tilioideae, and also Elaeocarpaceae).

¶* In "Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 22" (1887) Asa Gray introduces a family Chiranthodendraceae (Chiranthodendreae), corresponding to Fremontodendreae.

¶* In Post & Kuntze's "Lex. Gen. Phan" (1903) Augier's Cacoaceae is introduced. I have not seen this work, and do not know the scope of this taxon, nor how the remainding malvaceous plants are classified.

¶* In his "Prosyllabus Tracheophytorum, Tentamen systematis plantarum vascularium (Tracheophyta)" (2001) Doweld introduced a family Berryaceae. I have not seen this book, and do not know the scope of this family, or the division of the rest of Malvaceae in his classification.

¶* In "Botanical Review (Lancaster) 71: 100" (2005) Doweld and Reveal introduce a family Grewiaceae. I have not seen this journal and do not know the division of the rest of Malvaceae in their classification. Note the independent introduction of Grewiaceae (equivalent to Grewioideae) by Thorne. Another recent book "Plant Systematics: An Integrated Approach" (date and author unknown, probably Gurcharan Singh 2004) has two families - Malvaceae and Grewiaceae.

¶ first use of family
* omitted from table

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