Temporal range: Cretaceous–Recent
|N. nucifera (sacred lotus)|
Nelumbonaceae, sometimes called the sacred lotus family, is a family of flowering plants, including the single genus Nelumbo with two species, N. lutea (North America) and N. nucifera (widespread in tropical Asia). While, in the past, members of the family have been included in the waterlily family, Nymphaeaceae, it is now widely accepted, following molecular studies, that the Nelumbonaceae are actually an example of convergent evolution and are highly modified eudicots belonging to the order Proteales, their closest living relatives being the plane trees (Platanaceae) and Proteaceae. The APG III system of 2009 (unchanged from the earlier APG system of 1998 and the APG II system of 2003) places the family in the order Proteales, in the clade eudicots.
The family consists of aquatic plants, extant Nelumbo found in North America and Asia (and perhaps some adjacent areas, but widely cultivated). At least four other genera, Nelumbites, Exnelumbites, Paleonelumbo, and Nelumbago, are known from fossils.
The Cronquist system, of 1981, also recognized this family but placed it in order Nymphaeales in subclass Magnoliidae in class Magnoliopsida (=dicotyledons), based on gross morphological similarities. The Dahlgren system and Thorne system (1992) also recognized this family and placed it in its own order Nelumbonales in superorder Magnolianae in subclass Magnoliidae (=dicotyledons).
- Angiosperm Phylogeny Group III (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
- Stevens, P.F. (2001 onwards), "Proteales: Nelumbonaceae", Angiosperm Phylogeny Website, retrieved 2014-02-25
- Estrada-Ruiz, Emilio; Upchurch Jr., G.R.; Wolfe, J.A.; Cevallos-Ferriz, S.R.S. (2011), "Comparative Morphology of Fossil and Extant Leaves of Nelumbonaceae, Including a New Genus from the Late Cretaceous of Western North America", Systematic Botany 36 (2): 337–351, doi:10.1600/036364411X569525
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nelumbonaceae.|
- Nelumbonaceae in L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz (1992 onwards). The families of flowering plants: descriptions, illustrations, identification, information retrieval. Version: 3 May 2006. http://delta-intkey.com.
- Nelumbonaceae in the Flora of North America
- Nelumbonaceae in the Flora of China
- NCBI Taxonomy Browser
- links at CSDL