Petenaeaceae – a new family of flowering plants

Isn’t it wonderful to see a new flower, makes us feel full of the joys of spring, well almost! – Deskarati –

A new family of flowering plants has been described to accommodate Petenaea cordata, a species of uncertain affinities.

Petenaea cordata, a species from northern Central America, has been included in Elaeocarpaceae and Tiliaceae, but its familial placement has been uncertain. It was considered a taxon incertae sedis by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG III).

Molecular phylogenetic analyses based on a recent collection made in Guatemala revealed a distant sister-group relationship to the African genus Gerrardina (Gerrardinaceae, Huerteales). However, a comparison of morphological and anatomical characters did not identify any obvious synapomorphies for Gerrardina and Petenaea, and a new monotypic family, Petenaeaceae, has been described in a paper in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society by scientists from the Natural History Museum, Kew and the University of San Carlos de Guatemala.

The polymorphic order Huerteales now comprises four small families, Dipentodontaceae, Gerrardinaceae, Petenaeaceae and Tapisciaceae.

via Petenaeaceae – a new family of flowering plants.

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One Response to Petenaeaceae – a new family of flowering plants

  1. alfy says:

    One of the most fascinating things about evolution is that it continually throws up animals and plants that bamboozle us. Taxonomy or classification tries to produce schemes which reflect the probable evolution of the various groups of animals and plants, but there are always species which are the very devil to fit in anywhere. Some of these can be maddeningly common as well.

    What about the Tardigrades or “Bear Animalcules”, microscopic, common, found all over the world, little feet with claws, clambering about and doing no harm to anyone. Totally unrelated to any other kind of organism.

    Long may these puzzlers, like Petenaea, “Peter Knee-er” to his friends, flourish.

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