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Starr 010330-0602 Clusia rosea.jpg
Clusia major
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Clusiaceae
Type genus
  • Clusioideae
  • Hypericoideae
  • Kielmeyeroideae

The Clusiaceae or Guttiferae Juss. (1789) (nom. alt. et cons. = alternative and valid name) are a family of plants formerly including about 37[2] genera and 1610[2] species of trees and shrubs,[2] often with milky sap and fruits or capsules for seeds. It is primarily tropical.[2] More so than many plant families, it shows large variation in plant morphology (for example, three to 10, fused or unfused petals, and many other traits).[2] According to the APG III, this family belongs to the order Malpighiales. The APG III system reduced the circumscription of this family to just 14 genera and about 595 species. Previous circumscriptions have often included the family Hypericaceae as a subfamily within Clusiaceae.

One feature which is sometimes found in this family, and rarely in others (e.g., Malpighiaceae), is providing pollinators with rewards other than pollen or nectar; specifically, some species offer resin which bees use in nest construction (all three rewards are found in different species of the Clusiaceae).[2]


The family Clusiaceae was divided by Cronquist into 2 subfamilies: the Clusioideae (typical subfamily) and the Hypericoideae. The latter was often treated as a family - the Hypericaceae or St. John's wort family. Elements of the Hypericoideae are more common in North temperate areas and those of the Clusioideae are centered in the Tropics.

Later classifications however divide the family in a finer way. Molecular studies have shown that the family Podostemaceae - the riverweeds - as well as the Theaceae-segregate Bonnetiaceae need to be included in this group. Their inclusions make Clusiaceae in a wide-sense polyphyletic, and Stevens's subfamilies need to be recognised at family level: Clusioideae as Clusiaceae sensu stricto; Hypericoideae as Hypericaceae; and Kielmeyeroideae as Calophyllaceae.[3][4]


  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. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Gustafsson, Mats H. G. (2002), "Phylogeny of Clusiaceae Based on rbcL sequences", International Journal of Plant Sciences 163 (6): 1045, doi:10.1086/342521, JSTOR 3080291 
  3. ^ Stevens, P. F. (1980). A revision of the Old World species of Calophyllum (Guttiferae). J. Arnold Arboretum 61:117–699.
  4. ^ APG III (2009)


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