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Gomphrena globosa1.jpg
Gomphrena globosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Subfamily: Gomphrenoideae

about 13 genera, see text

The Gomphrenoideae are a subfamily of the Amaranthaceae.

The stamens have anthers with only one lobe (locule) and two pollen sacs. Many species show C4-photosynthesis pathway.[1]

The center of diversity lies in Central America, Mexico and the dry forests and thorn bush savannas of South America.[2]


The subfamily Gomphrenoideae was first published in 1893 by Hans Schinz (in: Engler und Prantl (Eds.): Die Natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien vol. 3, 1a, p. 97).

According to phylogenetic research by Sanchez Del-Pino (2009), the subfamily Gomphrenoideae Schinz is regarded as a monophyletic taxon with 19 genera and about 300-400 species. The traditional classification with two tribes (Gomphreneae and Pseudoplantageae) does not reflect the phylogenetic relationship in this group. Three clades can be recognized.:[1]

  • Cladus Iresinoids (sister clade of the two other clades):
    • Irenella Suess., with only one species:
      • Irenella chrysotricha Suess., in rain forests of Ecuador. Phylogenetically, it falls within Iresine.
    • Iresine P.Browne (Syn.: Dicraurus Hook. f.): with about 45 species in North and South America.
    • Woehleria Griseb.: with only one species
      • Woehleria serpyllifolia Griseb., on mountain coasts of Cuba. Phylogenetically, it falls within Iresine.
  • Cladus Alternantheroids:
    • Alternanthera Forssk. (Syn.: Brandesia Mart.): with about 100-200 species, mainly in America, also in Africa and Australia.
    • Pedersenia Holub: with about 10 species in tropical America.
    • Tidestromia Standl.: with about 6 species in deserts of southern North America.
  • Cladus Gomphrenoids:



  1. ^ a b c Ivonne Sánchez del-Pino, Thomas Borsch & Timothy J. Motley (2009): trnL-F and rpl16 Sequence Data and Dense Taxon Sampling Reveal Monophyly of Unilocular Anthered Gomphrenoideae (Amaranthaceae) and an Improved Picture of Their Internal Relationships, In: Systematic Botany, Volume 34 (1), p. 57-67. doi:10.1600/036364409787602401
  2. ^ Kai Müller & Thomas Borsch (2005): Phylogenetics of Amaranthaceae using matK/trnK sequence data – evidence from parsimony, likelihood and Bayesian approaches, In: Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 92, p. 66-102.