The Info List - Chloranthales

--- Advertisement ---

(i) (i)

CHLORANTHACEAE /ˌklɔːrænˈθeɪʃiː/ is a family of flowering plants (angiosperms), the only family in the order CHLORANTHALES. It is not closely related to any other family of flowering plants, and is among the early-diverging lineages in the angiosperms. They are woody or weakly woody plants occurring in Southeast Asia, the Pacific, Madagascar, Central and South America, and the West Indies. The family consists of four extant genera, totalling about 77 known species according to Christenhusz and Byng in 2016. Some species are used in traditional medicine. The type genus is Chloranthus .


* 1 Description

* 1.1 Differences between the genera

* 2 Taxonomy

* 2.1 Historical classifications

* 3 References * 4 External links


Chloranthaceae are fragrant shrubs or herbaceous plants , that only produce side branches on the new growth. The stems are mostly cylindrical, with solid internodes , thickened nodes in many species, that carry evergreen leaves arranged in pairs on opposite sides of the stem, with stipules that have merged with that of the opposing leaf. The small flowers are seated directly on the axis of the inflorescence . Petals are absent in this family, and sometimes so are sepals . The flowers can be either hermaphrodite or of separate sexes. The fruit is drupe or berry , consisting of one carpel .


The four genera assigned to this family can be distinguished from each other by the following characters. Sarcandra species are shrubs with wood without vessels , that have bisexual flowers, with only one, club-shaped stamen in which the connective tissue (between the lobes which carry the pollen ) is wide, and with a smooth and moist stigma . This genus has four species which occur in Malaysia, China, Indochina, Japan, India, and Sri Lanka. Chloranthus species are dwarf shrubs or herbaceous plants , with xylem that does contain vessels, that has bisexual flowers, each of which containing three stamens on straight, filaments with three lobes and a wide connective , and with a smooth and moist stigma . The twenty species occur in southern and eastern Asia. Ascarina has separate male and female flowers. The male flowers are subtended by two bracts and have between one and five stamens, in which the connective is not widened. The female flower is without bracts, the stigma is dry and covered in papillae . The fruit is a drupje-like berry. Twelve species can be found on islands in the Pacific and insular South-East Asia, from New Zealand and the Marquesas
to Borneo
, and on Madagascar
. Hedyosmum has separate male and female flowers. The male flowers are without bracts and has one stamen in which the connective is not widened. The female flower is without bracts, the stigma is dry and covered in papillae . Female flowers have a trilobed calyx . The fruit has a kernel with a hard and woody shell (a drupe ). Forty three species are known from Latin America, including the Antilles
, and one species lives in Southeast Asia.


Chloranthaceae have been recognised as a family in most classifications but without clear relatives. Molecular systematic studies have shown that it is not closely related to any other family and is among the early-diverging lineages in the angiosperms . In particular, it is neither a eudicot nor a monocot . Fossils assigned to Chloranthaceae, or closely related to the family, are among the oldest angiosperms known. The APG II system
APG II system
(2003) left the family unplaced as to order, but the APG III system (2009) accepted Chloranthales
, containing only this family. The cladogram below, from the APG IV system (2016), shows the Chloranthales
in a trichotomy with the magnoliids and the monocot-Ceratophyllales-dicot clade . Earlier the order was grouped with magnoliids, but studies in 2014 did not support this placement, so that its phylogeny remains unclear.










A study based on comparison of homologous DNA-fragments, published in 2004 indicated that the both the family Chloranthaceae and its extant genera Ascarina , Chloranthus , Hedyosmum and Sarcandra are probably monophyletic , with Hedyosmum being the first to diverge from the rest, and Ascarina being the sister group of the clade consisting of Sarcandra and Chloranthus. As of June 2016 , four extant genera are recognized, and insights in their relationships are expressed in the following tree.






The extinct genus Chloranthistemon also belongs to this family.


The Cronquist system (1981) assigned the family to the order Piperales in subclass Magnoliidae in class Magnoliopsida of division Magnoliophyta .

The Thorne system (1992) placed it in the order Magnoliales , which was assigned to superorder Magnolianae in subclass Magnoliideae , in class Magnoliopsida .