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Colchicum autumnale.jpg
Colchicum autumnale
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Colchicaceae

See text

Colchicaceae is a family of flowering plants that includes 15 genera with a total of about 285 known species according to Christenhusz and Byng in 2016.[2]


The family is characterized by the presence of colchicine.[3]


The APG III system, of 2009 (unchanged from the APG systems, of 1998 and 2003), recognizes this family and places it in the order Liliales, in the clade monocots.[1] It is a group of herbaceous perennials with rhizomes or corms.

The Dahlgren system and the Thorne system (1992) also recognized this family, and placed it in order Liliales in superorder Lilianae in subclass Liliidae (monocotyledons) of class Magnoliopsida (angiosperms).


The following is an alphabetic list of genera usually included in this family :

The phylogenetic classification of Vinnersten & Manning circumscribes the family as follows:[4]

The genus Petermannia F.Muell. is excluded from this family and placed in its own family Petermanniaceae, Liliales. The former controversy regarding the inclusion of Androcymbium in Colchicum has now been resolved in favor of the 2007 classification of Manning et al.[5] who included Androcymbium in Colchicum. This is supported by molecular phylogenetic studies with dense species sampling (i.e. 41 species previously placed in Androcymbium and 96 species of Colchicum) that showed that the type species of Androcymbium, A. melanthioides (Colchicum melanthioides), is more closely related to species of Colchicum than it is to many species traditionally placed in Androcymbium.[6][7]

Subsequently, Nguyen et al.(2013) proposed reclassifying the family on the basis of subfamilies:[8]

  • Subfamily Uvularioideae (distribution: Eastern Asia and North America)
    • Tribe Uvularieae (Disporum, Uvularia)
  • Subfamily Wurmbeoideae (distribution: Australia, Africa, Europe, central and tropical Asia)
    • Tribe Burchardieae (Burchardia)
    • Tribe Tripladenieae (Tripladenia, Schelhammera, Kuntheria)
    • Tribe Iphigenieae (Iphigenia, Camptorrhiza)
    • Tribe Angullarieae (Wurmbea, Onixotis, Neodregea, Baeometra)
    • Tribe Colchiceae (Gloriosa (including Littonia), Colchicum (including Merendera, Bulbocodium, and probably Androcymbium), Hexacyrtis, Ornithoglossum, Sandersonia


  1. ^ a b Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Vinnersten & Larsson 2010.
  4. ^ Vinnersten & Manning 2007.
  5. ^ Manning, J.C.; Forest, F.; Vinnersten, A. (2007). "The genus Colchicum L. redefined to include "Androcymbium" Willd. based on molecular evidence". Taxon. 56 (3): 872–882. doi:10.2307/25065868. JSTOR 25065868.
  6. ^ Chacón, J.; Renner, S. S. (2014). "Assessing model sensitivity in ancestral area reconstruction using Lagrange: A case study using the Colchicaceae family". Journal of Biogeography. 41 (7): 1414–1427. doi:10.1111/jbi.12301.
  7. ^ Chacón, J.; Cusimano, N.; Renner, S. S. (2014). "The evolution of Colchicaceae, with a focus on chromosome numbers". Systematic Botany. 39 (2): 415–427. doi:10.1600/036364414X680852.
  8. ^ Nguyen et al 2013.


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