From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Lopseed family
Mimulus tilingii 23134.JPG
Mimulus tilingii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Phrymaceae

About 11; see text.

Phrymaceae (Schauer 1847), also known as the Lopseed family, is a small plant family in the order Lamiales. It now consists of about 190 species, distributed worldwide but with the majority in western North America (about 130 species) and Australia (about 30 species).

Previously, this family was monotypic with the genus Phryma, and limited in geographic range to eastern North America and eastern China. This genus was previously placed by Cronquist in the verbena family Verbenaceae.

New research of phylogenetic relationships (Beardsley & Olmstead, 2002) has revealed that several genera, traditionally included in the figwort family Scrophulariaceae, are actually more closely related to the newly defined and expanded Phrymaceae. A more recent paper has suggested that the genus Rehmannia is closely related to Mazus and Lancea, but has also cast doubt on the inclusion of these genera in Phrymaceae.

The family Phrymaceae is mainly defined by the following three characteristics:

  • Tubular, toothed calyces (with five lobes).
  • Stigmas with two lamellas with sensitive inner surfaces, that close together on contact with a pollinator.
  • Capsules that are readily dehiscent in the length between the partitions of the locule.

Members of this family occur in the most diverse habitats, ranging from deserts, river banks or mountains. They can be annuals or perennials, with a length between a few centimeters to woody shrubs of 4 m high.

The floral structures within Phrymaceae can be rather different, even so that a morphological assessment becomes difficult. Their corollas can be bilaterally or radially symmetrical.

Even reproduction is brought about by different breeding systems: asexual, self-fertilizing, outcrossing or mixed mating. Some are pollinated by insects, others by hummingbirds.

The most common fruit type in this family is a readily dehiscent capsule containing numerous seeds, but exceptions exist (an achene, as in Phryma leptostachya, or a berry-like fruit as in Leucocarpus).

Mimulus guttatus from Thomé, Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885

The genus Mimulus (with about 120 species) is not monophyletic. Six other genera are derived from within it (Glossostigma, Peplidium, Phryma, Leucocarpus, Hemichaena, and Berendtiell), and the Australian genus Elacholoma probably as well. The genus Mimulus is cosmopolitan, with most species in western North America (and the greatest number in California). It also occurs in Australia, South Africa, India, Chile, Mexico, the Himalayas and Madagascar. The taxonomic relationships of these species remain unclear and a redefinition is in order; a breaking up of this genus is probably the next step, requiring more than 100 name changes.



  1. ^ Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  • Beardsley, P. M. & Olmstead, R. G. 2002. Redefining Phrymaceae: the placement of Mimulus, tribe Mimuleae, and Phryma. American Journal of Botany 89: 1093-1102 (available online here).
  • Oxelman, B.; Kornhall, P.; Olmstead, R.G.; Bremer, B. 2005. Further disintegration of the Scrophulariaceae. Taxon 54(2): 411-425.

External links[edit]