'Giant rhubarb' Gunnera manicata, from here.

Belongs within: Mesangiospermae.
Contains: Dilleniaceae, Saxifragales, Vitaceae, Malvidae, Fabidae, Santalales, Caryophyllales, Cornales, Ericales, Lamiidae, Campanulidae.

The Gunneridae are a major clade of flowering plants, corresponding to the eudicotyledons minus the basal 'ranunculids' of some classifications. Cantino et al. (2007) defined the Gunneridae as the smallest clade containing Gunnera perpensa and Helianthus annuus. The clade is mostly supported by molecular analyses but another synapomorphy may be the presence of ellagic acid. The major subclade within the Gunneridae, the Pentapetalae, is characterised by the ancestral possession of pentamerous flowers (altered in many subsidiary lineages) (Cantino et al. 2007). Pentapetalae may be divided between two major lineages centered around the clades Asteridae and Rosidae. However, the position of the family Dilleniaceae relative to this divide remains poorly supported. The Rosidae, containing more than a quarter of all living angiosperms (Wang et al. 2009), is primarily supported by molecular analyses though members do share articulated anthers (Angiosperm Phylogeny Website). The Saxifragales and Vitaceae are closely related to the Rosidae and have each been included within the latter clade by some classifications.

The Asteridae, in turn, are associated by molecular phylogenies with with Santalales and Caryophyllales. Many members of the Asteridae sensu lato (including Cornales and Ericales) are sympetalous with the petals fused to varying degrees from the base. The clade is mainly supported by molecular data but possible synapomorphies include tenuinucellate and unitegmic ovules, sympetaly, and iridoid compounds (Cantino et al. 2007). Members of the Asteridae sensu lato may be divided between three main clades, the Cornales, Ericales and Asteridae sensu stricto (or Gentianidae). The Asteridae sensu stricto are often informally known as the euasterids and defined by Cantino et al. (2007) as the least inclusive clade including Gentiana lutea and Campanula elatines. Possible synapomorphies include the possession of epipetalous stamens, equalling or less than the number of corolla lobes, two fused carpels, and unitegmic ovules (Cantino et al. 2007). The Berberopsidales are a small but divergent clade of trees and woody vines found in eastern Australia and Chile. The vines of the genus Berberidopsis include one species in each of these regions. Their flowers have perianth segments spirally arranged, not clearly differentiated into sepals and petals, and an annular, fleshy, lobed disc (Harden 1990). Aextoxicon is a large tree with olive-like fruit found in forests of southern South America.

The sister group of the Pentapetalae is the Gunnerales, including the two genera Gunnera and Myrothamnus. Gunnera is a genus of small to gigantic herbaceous plants with a mostly southern distribution, at least some species of which host symbiotic cyanobacteria in glands at the base of the leaf. Megafossils of Gunnera are unknown but Gunnera-type pollen Retitricolpites microreticulatus is known from the Turonian epoch of the later Cretaceous (Collinson et al. 1993). Myrothamnus is a small genus of xerophytic shrubs found in southern Africa and Madagascar.

See also: Flowers from two to five.

<==Gunneridae (see below for synonymy)
    |--Pentapetalae (see below for synonymy) CD07
    |    |--+--Dilleniaceae MS10
    |    |  `--Rosanae EN20
    |    |       |--Saxifragales EN20
    |    |        `--Rosidae (see below for synonymy) EN20
    |    |             |  i. s.: Gumillea BB07
    |    |             |--Vitaceae EN20
    |    |             `--+--Malvidae EN20
    |    |                `--Fabidae EN20
    |    `--+--Berberidopsidales APG16
    |       |    |--Aextoxicon T00 [Aextoxicaceae CD07]
    |       |    `--Berberidopsis [Berberidopsidaceae] WM09
    |       |         |--B. beckleri [=Streptothamnus beckleri] H90
    |       |         `--B. corallina Hooker 1862 CD07
    |       `--Asteranae (see below for synonymy) EN20
    |            |--Santalales APG16
    |            `--+--Caryophyllales APG16
    |               `--+--Cornales EN20
    |                  `--+--Ericales EN20
    |                     `--Asteridae [Euasteridae, Gentianidae, Gentianiflorae, Pittosporales, Solaniflorae] EN20
    |                          |--Lamiidae NDA05
    |                          `--Campanulidae CD07
    `--Gunnerales APG16
         |--Myrothamnus T00 [Myrothamnaceae APG16]
         `--Gunneraceae [Gunnerineae] CBH93
              |--Retitricolpites CBH93
              |    |--R. anguloluminosus (Anderson) Yi & Batten 2002 (see below for synonymy) YB02
              |    `--R. microreticulatus CBH93
              `--Gunnera Linnaeus 1767 WM09, A61
                   |  i. s.: G. bracteata P-RG14
                   |         G. lobata CL85
                   |         G. magellanica D03
                   |         G. manicata Linden ex André 1873 CD07
                   |         G. perpensa Linnaeus 1767 CD07
                   |         G. tinctoria [incl. G. chilensis] H93
                   `--G. sect. Milligania [=Milligania Hook. f. in Hook. 1840 non Hook. 1853 (nom. cons.)] A61
                        |--G. cordifolia [=*Milligania cordifolia] A61
                        |--G. albocarpa (Kirk) Ckn. 1909 [=G. monoica var. albocarpa Kirk 1895] A61
                        |--G. arenaria Cheesem. in Kirk 1895 A61
                        |--G. densiflora Hook. f. 1864 A61
                        |--G. dentata Kirk 1895 A61
                        |--G. flavida Col. 1886 A61 [incl. G. ovata Petrie 1893 C06]
                        |--G. hamiltonii Kirk 1895 A61
                        |--G. mixta Kirk 1895 [incl. G. microcarpa Kirk 1895] A61
                        |--G. monoica Raoul 1844 [incl. G. monoica var. ramulosa Kirk 1899] A61
                        |--G. prorepens Hook. f. 1852 A61
                        `--G. strigosa Col. 1883 [=G. monoica var. strigosa (Col.) Kirk 1895] A61

Asteranae [Apophyllosae, Cataphyllosae, Cinchonalium, Epigynosae, Gamopetalae, Gesneriales, Hydrangeales, Hypogynae, Metachlamydeae, Sympetalae, Theanae, Umbelliflorae] APG16

Gunneridae [Balanophorales, Balanophoranae, Corniflorae, Halorageae, Hamamelidanae, Lythrales, Rafflesiales, Rafflesianae, Santalanae, Saxifraganae, Thymelaeales]

Pentapetalae [Calyciflorae, Campanulatae, Monopetalae, Myrtiflorae, Olacineae, Sarraceniales, Saxifrageae, Theales, Theiflorae] CD07

Retitricolpites anguloluminosus (Anderson) Yi & Batten 2002 [=Tricolporites anguloluminosus Anderson 1960] YB02

Rosidae [Amentiferae, Balanopineae, Daphniphyllanae, Daphniphyllineae, Disciflorae, Geranianae, Geraniiflorae, Hamamelididae, Juglandineae, Linales, Malvanae, Malviflorae, Polygalales, Rhamnanae, Rutales, Rutanae, Rutiflorae, Violiflorae] EN20

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A61] Allan, H. H. 1961. Flora of New Zealand vol. 1. Indigenous Tracheophyta: Psilopsida, Lycopsida, Filicopsida, Gymnospermae, Dicotyledones. R. E. Owen, Government Printer: Wellington (New Zealand).

[APG16] Angiosperm Phylogeny Group. 2016. An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 181: 1–20.

[BB07] Bhattacharyya, P. K., & K. Bhattacharyya. 2007. A comparison of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification (2003) with system of Takhtajan (1997) and Cronquist (1988). Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49: 95–120.

[CD07] Cantino, P. D., J. A. Doyle, S. W. Graham, W. S. Judd, R. G. Olmstead, D. E. Soltis, P. S. Soltis & M. J. Donoghue. 2007. Towards a phylogenetic nomenclature of Tracheophyta. Taxon 56 (3): E1–E44.

[C06] Cheeseman, T. F. 1906. Manual of the New Zealand Flora. John Mackay, Government Printer: Wellington.

[CL85] Cokendolpher, J. C., & D. Lanfranco L. 1985. Opiliones from the Cape Horn Archipelago: new southern records for harvestmen. Journal of Arachnology 13: 311–319.

[CBH93] Collinson, M. E., M. C. Boulter & P. L. Holmes. 1993. Magnoliophyta (‘Angiospermae’). In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 809–841. Chapman & Hall: London.

[D03] Dusén, P. 1903. The vegetation of western Patagonia. In: Scott, W. B. (ed.) Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896–1899 vol. 8. Botany pp. 1–34. The University: Princeton (New Jersey).

[EN20] Eggli, U., & R. Nyffeler (eds) 2020. Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants: Monocotyledons 2nd ed. Springer.

[H90] Harden, G. J. (ed.) 1990. Flora of New South Wales vol. 1. New South Wales University Press.

[H93] Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press: Berkeley (California).

[MS10] Moore, M. J., P. S. Soltis, C. D. Bell, J. G. Burleigh & D. E. Soltis. 2010. Phylogenetic analysis of 83 plastid genes further resolves the early diversification of eudicots. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 107 (10): 4623–4628.

[NDA05] Nickrent, D. L., J. P. Der & F. E. Anderson. 2005. Discovery of the photosynthetic relatives of the "Maltese mushroom" Cynomorium. BMC Evolutionary Biology 5: 38.

[T00] Thorne, R. F. 2000. The classification and geography of the flowering plants: dicotyledons of the class Angiospermae (subclasses Magnoliidae, Ranunculidae, Caryophyllidae, Dilleniidae, Rosidae, Asteridae, and Lamiidae). The Botanical Review 66: 441–647.

[WM09] Wang, H., M. J. Moore, P. S. Soltis, C. D. Bell, S. F. Brockington, R. Alexandre, C. C. Davis, M. Latvis, S. R. Manchester & D. E. Soltis. 2009. Rosid radiation and the rapid rise of angiosperm-dominated forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 106 (10): 3853–3858.

[YB02] Yi, S., & D. J. Batten. 2002. Palynology of Upper Cretaceous (uppermost Campanian-Maastrichtian) deposits in the South Yellow Sea Basin, offshore Korea. Cretaceous Research 23: 687–706.

Last updated: 3 April 2022.

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