Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

What family classification does the key use?



Family classification follows Mabberley's Plant Book, 3rd edition (2008). Mabberley follows fairly closely the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG) classification (Stevens 2001 onwards), and so incorporates the changes that have been made to family classification as a result of DNA evidence.

The families are listed alphabetically, and the genera within each family are also arranged alphabetically. Note that the families are not scored for the key, they are used simply to group the genera.

The first feature in the key is dicots/monocots. The monocots are phylogenetically nested within the dicots, and so the two groups are not equivalent. Nevertheless, most people with some knowledge of flowering plants have a sense of this traditional division and so it is used here. You need not use this feature.

The Flora of New Zealand volume IV (Webb et al. 1988) used Dahlgren's 1983 classification of the dicots. Mabberley's 2008 classification of the dicots differs from Flora of New Zealand volume 4 mainly in these respects:

  • Most genera that were in Scrophulariaceae (e.g., Hebe, Digitalis, and Ourisia) are now in Plantaginaceae, and Hebe is now part of Veronica.
  • Glossostigma, Mazus, Erythranthe and Thyridia (previously Mimulus) that were in Scrophulariaceae are now in Phrymaceae.
  • Scrophulariaceae is still recognised as a family, and now includes Buddleja and Myoporum (both previously in their own families).
  • Euphrasia and Parentucellia are now in Orobanchaceae rather than Scrophulariaceae.
  • Lobeliaceae genera (Pratia, Lobelia, etc) are now in Campanulaceae.
  • Epacridaceae (e.g., Cyathodes, Dracophyllum, Leucopogon, Pentachondra) are now in Ericaceae.
  • Myrsinaceae (Ardisia, Elingamita, and Myrsine) are in Primulaceae.
  • Flacourtiaceae genera (Azara, Dovyalis, Idesia) are in Salicaceae.
  • Acer (sycamore) and Aesculus (horse chestnut) are now in Sapindaceae.
  • Fumariaceae are now included in Papaveraceae.

In the monocotyledons, The Flora of New Zealand volumes II and III (Moore & Edgar 1970, Healy & Edgar 1980) used the family classification of Hutchinson (1959). Mabberley's classification differs mainly in these respects:

  • The Asparagaceae is now a large family that contains genera previously in several other families, e.g. Agave, Fucraea and Yucca (were Agavaceae), Hyacinthus etc (were Hyacinthaceae), Cordyline (was in Asteliaceae).
  • Phormium and Dianella were in Phormiaceae and are now in Hemerocallidaceae.
  • Xeronema is now in its own family, Xeronemataceae.
  • Lepilaena and Zannachellia (Zannichelliaceae) are now in Potamogetonaceae.