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Order: Brassicales

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid II

Eight of the 18 families in this order are encountered in southern Africa. There are 398 genera and 4765 species worldwide, with 23 genera and 192 species native to southern Africa, an additional 22 genera and 44 species naturalised, and an additional 18 genera and 58 species that are cultivated in the region.

Families encountered in southern Africa

Brassicaceae or Cruciferae (cabbage, turnip, caper family)

There are about 338 genera and 3710 species of Brassicaceae worldwide, with nine genera and 117 species native to southern Africa, an additional 22 genera and 41 species are naturalised, and an additional 15 genera and 42 species are cultivated in the region. Capparaceae and Cleomaceae are placed under Brassicaceae in some classifications but they are kept as three families here (following Angiosperm Phylogeny website Version 9).

Capparaceae

Sixteen genera and 480 species (warm and tropical regions of the world), of which eight genera and 46 species are native to southern Africa and an additional genus and two species are cultivated in the region. Cleome has previously been placed in the Capparaceae but is here placed in the Cleomaceae. In some classifications, members of the Capparaceae and Cleomaceae are placed under the Brassicaceae.

 

Caricaceae (papaw family)

There are four genera and 34 species (mainly tropical America but also tropical Africa), none of which are native to southern Africa. However, Carica papaya (Papaw) is cultivated in the subtropical parts of the southern Africa and is sold and eaten throughout the region.

Cleomaceae

There are 10 genera and about 300 species worldwide, with the genus Cleome making up most of the species (275); this is the only genus in the family that occurs in southern Africa, with 21 species native to southern Africa, one species naturalised and a further species that is cultivated in the region.

 
Moringaceae

One genus (Moringa) and 13 species, native to tropical and subtropical regions. One species is native to southern Africa, another is naturalised and an additional three species are cultivated in the region.

Resedaceae

About six genera and 70 species, native to warm temperate and dry subtropical regions, with two genera and four species native to southern Africa, one species naturalised and an additional three species that are cultivated in the region.

Salvadoraceae

Three genera and 11 species, native to Africa, Madagascar, South East Asia and West Malesia, with two genera and three species native to southern Africa.

Tropaeolaceae (Nasturtium and Canary creeper family)

One genus, Tropaeolum, of about 80 species, native to Central and South America. Six species are cultivated in southern Africa, including the familiar Tropaeolum majus (Nasturtium).

Nasturtium Tropaeolum majus, growing alongside road in Cape Town.

Families not encountered in southern Africa

Akaniaceae, Bataceae, Borthwickiaceae, Emblingiaceae, Gyrostemonaceae, Koeberliniaceae, Limnanthaceae, Pentadiplandraceae, Setchellanthaceae, Stixaceae, Tovariaceae.

 

 

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