Back to Biodiversity Explorer main pageGo to Iziko Museums of Cape Town home pageAbout Biodiversity Explorer - history, goals, etc.Send us your questions about southern African biodiversityPeople who have contributed content and images.Search Biodiversity Explorer

Order: Malpighiales

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 I

About 39 families, 716 genera and 15935 species of which 19 families, 160 genera and 974 species are encountered in southern Africa. Of these, 120 genera and 800 species are native, an additional eight genera and 47 species are naturalised, and an additional 32 genera and 128 species are cultivated in the region.

Families encountered in southern Africa

Achariaceae

Thirty genera and 145 species (pantropical), with six genera and seven species native to southern Africa.

Chrysobalanaceae

Seventeen genera and about 460 species worldwide (lowland tropics and subtropics), with three genera and four species native to southern Africa. In addition, there are four genera and four species that are cultivated in the region.

Clusiaceae

Twenty-seven genera and about 1050 species (tropical) with one genus (Garcinia) and four species native to southern Africa. An additional genus and four species are cultivated in the region. 

Dichapetalaceae

There are three genera and about 165 species (tropics and subtropics), with two genera and seven species native to southern Africa.

Elatinaceae

Two genera and thirty-five species (worldwide, mainly tropical). Both genera and 12 species are native to southern Africa.

 

Erythroxylaceae (Coca family)

There are four species and about 260 species worldwide (tropics, mainly America), of which two genera and six species are native to southern Africa. The Coca tree, Erythroxylum coca (which has been cultivated in southern Africa) yields the alkaloid cocaine, a narcotic drug used in medicine and illegal drug use.

Euphorbiaceae (Poinsettia and Cassava family)

There are 218 genera and about 5735 species in the Euphorbiaceae worldwide, of which 49 genera and 527 species are native to southern Africa, six genera and 25 species are naturalised, and a further 14 genera and 43 species are cultivated in the region.

Hypericaceae

Of the nine genera and 560 species distributed worldwide, three genera occur in southern Africa, where there are ten native, three naturalised and an additional 14 cultivated species. All three genera were previously placed in the Clusiaceae.

Linaceae (Flax family)

There are 12 genera and about 300 species worldwide (cosmopolitan) of which two genera and 15 species are native to southern Africa, and a further one genus and six species are cultivated in the region.

Malpighiaceae

Sixty-eight genera and 1250 species worldwide (tropics and subtropics, mainly America), with four genera and 10 species native to southern Africa. An additional six genera and seven species are cultivated in the region.

Ochnaceae

Twenty-seven genera and 495 species (mainly pantropical), with three genera and 30 species native to southern Africa.

Passifloraceae (Granadilla family)

Twenty-seven genera and about 935 species worldwide, of which eight genera and 39 species are native to southern Africa, and one genus (Passiflora) and eight species are naturalised in the region. An additional six species are cultivated in the region. Turneraceae was previously considered to be a separate family, but it has now been merged into Passifloraceae.

Podostemaceae

Of the 48 genera and 270 species (mainly tropical), four genera and five species are native to southern Africa.

 

Phyllanthaceae

Fifty-nine genera and 1745 species (pantropical, especially Malesia), with 11 genera and 68 species native to southern Africa, one naturalised species and an additional two genera and three species that are cultivated in the region. Members of this family were previously placed in the Euphorbiaceae.

Picrodendraceae

Twenty-four genera and about 80 species (tropical mainly), with two genera, each with a single species, native to southern Africa.

 

Putranjivaceae

Three genera and about 210 species (tropical, mainly Africa and Malesia), with one genus (Drypetes) and five species native to southern Africa. In addition, Putranjiva roxburghii (Tsuge-modoki), native from India to Burma, is cultivated in southern Africa.

 

Rhizophoraceae (mangrove family)

About 16 genera and 149 species worldwide (tropics and subtropics of Africa, Asia and America), of which four genera and 10 species are native to southern Africa. One of the genera, Cassipourea, does not occur in mangrove forests but occurs in other types of forests and woodland.

Salicaceae (willow and poplar family)

Fifty-five genera and about 1010 species (worldwide), with 10 genera and 26 species native to southern Africa, a further one genus and seven species that are naturalised, and a further three genera and 28 species that are cultivated in the region. The family used to incude two genera (Salix and Populus - the willows and poplars) but based on genetic evidence mainly, the family now includes the majority of the genera that used to be placed in the Flacourtiaceae.

Violaceae (Pansy and Violet family)

Twenty-three genera and about 800 species worldwide (mainly tropical but the large Viola genus occurs predominantly in temperate regions), of which three genera and 13 species are native to southern Africa, three species are naturalised, and an additional genus and nine species are cultivated in the region.

Families not encountered in southern Africa

Balanopaceae, Bonnetiaceae, Caryocaraceae, Centroplacaceae, Ctenolophonaceae, Euphroniaceae, Goupiaceae, Humiriaceae, Irvingiaceae, Ixonanthaceae, Lacistemataceae, Lophopyxidaceae, Malesherbiaceae, Medusagynaceae, Pandaceae, Quiinaceae, Rafflesiaceae, Trigoniaceae

 


Contact us if you can contribute information or images to improve this page.

Biodiversity Explorer home   Iziko home   Search