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