A 2006 molecular study indicated the Sterculioideae was most likely to be a monophyletic group, and that it had four major clades within it. However, the relationships between the clades were not resolved.
The clades consist of a:
- Cola clade, with the genera Cola and Octolobus of Africa and Pterygota of Africa, South America and southeast Asia forming a subclade, Hildegardia and Firmiana forming a second and Scaphium and Pterocymbium a third.
- Heritiera clade comprising the genus Heritiera
- Sterculia clade comprising the large genus Sterculia of Africa and Asia.
- Brachychiton clade of Australasian and New Caledonian species, including Brachychiton, Acropogon, Argyrodendron and Franciscodendron.
- "Angiosperm Phylogeny Website - Malvales". Missouri Botanical Garden.
- "GRIN Taxonomy for Plants - Genera of Malvaceae subfam. Sterculioideae". United States Department of Agriculture.
- Wilkie, Peter; Clark, Alexandra; Pennington, R. Toby; Cheek, Martin; Bayer, Clemens; Wilcock, Chris C. (2006). "Phylogenetic Relationships within the Subfamily Sterculioideae (Malvaceae/Sterculiaceae-Sterculieae) Using the Chloroplast Gene ndhF". Systematic Botany. 31 (1): 160–70. doi:10.1600/036364406775971714.
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