Commelinales

Kingdom Plantae (plants)
Division Magnoliophyta (flowers)
Class Liliopsida (monocotyledons)
Order Commelinales

The Commelinales are an order of monocots, including the spiderwort family, Commelinaceae. Unfortunately the composition of the remainder of the group has been highly variable. Under Cronquist, the following additional families were recognized:

  • Rapataceae
  • Xyridaceae
  • Mayacaceae

However, many more modern authors consider these families to have closer affinities to other groups, moving the Xyridaceae to the Eriocaulales and the others to the Bromeliales. In their place, a series of forms formerly classified in the Liliales have been realized to have closer affinities to the Commelinidae, and so are either grouped in the Commelinales or in a separate, possibly paraphyletic, order Philydrales. These families are as follows:

  • Haemodoraceae
  • Pontederiaceae
  • Philydraceae
  • Hanguanaceae

This variability in membership makes characterization of the Commelinales, beyond being the Commelinaceae and its close relatives, very difficult.

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