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Protea cynaroides 3.jpg
Protea cynaroides
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
Order: Proteales
Juss. ex Bercht. & J.Presl[1]

Nelumbonaceae (lotus)
Platanaceae (plane trees)

Proteales is the botanical name of an order of flowering plants consisting of two (or three) families. The Proteales have been recognized by almost all taxonomists.


The APG II system of 2003 also recognizes this order, and places it in the clade eudicots with this circumscription:

  • order Proteales

with "+ ..." = optionally separate family (that may be split off from the preceding family).

The APG III system of 2009 followed this same approach, but favored the narrower circumscription of the three families, firmly recognizing three families in Proteales: Nelumbonaceae, Platanaceae, and Proteaceae.[1] The Angiosperm Phylogeny Website, however, suggests the addition of Sabiaceae, which was not placed in an order in the eudicots in the APG III system, would be sensible.[2]

Well-known members of the Proteales include the proteas of South Africa, the banksias and macadamias of Australia, the London plane, and the sacred lotus. The origins of the order are clearly ancient, with evidence of diversification in the mid-Cretaceous, over 100 million years ago. Of interest are the current family distributions, with the Proteaceae a mostly Southern Hemisphere family, while the Platanaceae and Nelumbonaceae are Northern Hemisphere plants.


This represents a slight change from the APG system of 1998, which firmly did accept family Platanaceae as separate, using this circumscription of the order:

  • order Proteales
  • family Nelumbonaceae
  • family Platanaceae
  • family Proteaceae


The Cronquist system of 1981 recognized such an order and placed it in subclass Rosidae in class Magnoliopsida [=dicotyledons]. It used this circumscription:

  • order Proteales

Dahlgren and Thorne[edit]

The Dahlgren system and Thorne system (1992) recognized such an order and placed it in superorder Proteanae in subclass Magnoliidae [=dicotyledons]. These systems used this circumscription:

  • order Proteales
  • family Proteaceae


The Engler system, in its update of 1964, also recognized this order and placed it in subclass Archichlamydeae of class Dicotyledoneae. It used this circumscription:

  • order Proteales
  • family Proteaceae


The Wettstein system, last revised in 1935, also recognized this order and placed it in the Monochlamydeae in subclass Choripetalae of class Dicotyledones. It used this circumscription:

  • order Proteales
  • family Proteaceae


  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, retrieved 2010-12-10 
  2. ^ Stevens, P. F. (2001 onwards). Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 12, July 2012 [and more or less continuously updated since]. Proteales. Accessed online: 9 June 2013.