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Linum pubescens.jpg
Linum pubescens
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Linaceae
DC. ex Perleb[1]

See text

Linaceae is a family of flowering plants. The family is cosmopolitan, and includes about 250 species in 14 genera, classified into two subfamilies: the Linoideae and Hugonioideae (often recognized as a distinct family, the Hugoniaceae). Leaves of the Linaceae are always simple; arrangement varies from alternate (most species) to opposite (in Sclerolinon and some Linum) or whorled (in some Hesperolinon and Linum species). The hermaphroditic, actinomorphic flowers are pentameric or, very rarely, tetrameric (e.g., Radiola linoides, Linum keniense).

In the Linoideae, the largest genus is Linum, the flaxes, with 180–200 species including the cultivated flax, Linum usitatissimum. Members of the Linoideae include herbaceous annuals and perennials, as well as woody subshrubs, shrubs, and small trees (Tirpitzia) inhabiting temperate and tropical latitudes of Eurasia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. The largest genus of the Hugonioideae is Hugonia (about 40 species); the Hugonioideae are woody vines, shrubs, and trees, and are almost entirely tropical in distribution. In addition to their growth habits and geographic distributions, the Linoideae and Hugonioideae can be differentiated by the number of fertile stamens (five in the Linoideae, 10 in the Hugonioideae) and fruit type (capsules in the Linoideae, fleshy drupe-like fruits in the Hugonioideae).

Genera in subfamily Linoideae

Genera in subfamily Hugonioideae

Under the old Cronquist system of classifying the flowering plants, the Linaceae were placed in their own order, the Linales. Modern classifications place them in the order Malpighiales.


  1. ^ 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. IKUJLKJKJH05–121.

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