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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

The Clusiaceae or Guttiferae Juss. (1789) (nom. alt. et cons. = alternative and valid name) are a family of plants formerly including about 37 genera and 1610[2] species, but is now restricted to 13 genera and ca 750 species,[3] the rest placed in related families like Bonnetiaceae, Calophyllaceae and Hypericaceae. They are mostly trees and shrubs,[2] 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 two 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 northern 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 the 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.[4][5]


  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 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. ^ Christenhusz, M. J. M. & Byng, J. W. (2016). "The number of known plants species in the world and its annual increase". Phytotaxa. Magnolia Press. 261 (3): 201–217. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.261.3.1. 
  4. ^ Stevens, P. F. (1980). A revision of the Old World species of Calophyllum (Guttiferae). J. Arnold Arboretum 61:117–699.
  5. ^ APG III (2009)


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