Syrian bean-caper Zygophyllum fabago, copyright Yuriy Kvach.

Belongs within: Fabidae.

The Zygophyllaceae are a group of often spiny herbs and shrubs most diverse in warm, dry regions of the world (Hickman 1993). Notable members include the creosote bush Larrea tridentata which is a dominant shrub in many drier regions of southwestern North America.

Characters (from Hickman 1993): Herb, shrub, often armed; caudex present or not. Stem branched; nodes often angled, swollen. Leaves 1-compound, opposite; stipules persistent or deciduous; leaflets entire. Inflorescence with flowers 1–2 in axils. Flower bisexual; sepals 5, free, persistent or deciduous; petals 5, free, generally spreading, sometimes twisted and appearing propeller-like; stamens 10, sometimes appendaged on inside base; ovary superior, chambers 5–10, ovules 1–several per chamber, placentas axile. Fruit a capsule or splitting into 5–10 nutlets.

    |  i. s.: Kallstroemia H93
    |           |--K. californica H93
    |           |--K. grandiflora H93
    |           `--K. parviflora H93
    |         Bubulcia globifera Massalongo 1858 CBH93
    |--Seetzenia [Seetzenioideae] T00
    |--Morkillioideae T00
    |    |--Morkillia T00
    |    |--Sericodes T00
    |    `--Viscainoa T00
    |--Larreoideae T00
    |    |--Pintoa T00
    |    |--Porlieria T00
    |    |--Bulnesia T00
    |    |    |--B. arborea WM09
    |    |    `--B. retamo O06
    |    |--Guaiacum T00
    |    |    |--G. officinale WM09
    |    |    `--G. sanctum Linnaeus 1753 CD07
    |    `--Larrea T00
    |         |--L. cuneifolia CSF14
    |         |--L. divaricata CSF14
    |         `--L. tridentata [=L. divaricata ssp. tridentata; incl. L. tridentata var. arenaria] H93
    |--Tribuloideae T00
    |    |--Kelleronia T00
    |    |--Neoluederitzia sericeocarpa T00, CV06
    |    |--Sisyndite T00
    |    |--Tribulopis T00
    |    |    |--T. angustifolia M99
    |    |    `--T. pentandra LK14
    |    |--Balanites [Balanitaceae] T00
    |    |    |--B. aegyptiaca M84
    |    |    `--B. roxburghii PP07
    |    `--Tribulus T00
    |         |--T. cistoides LK14 [=Kalstroemia cistoides C55]
    |         |--T. eichlerianus K10
    |         |--T. forrestii KM08
    |         |--T. lanuginosus PP07
    |         |--T. occidentalis LK14
    |         |--T. pentandrus PP07
    |         `--T. terrestris LK14
    `--Zygophylloideae T00
         |--Augea T00
         |--Tetraena T00
         |--Fagonia T00
         |    |--F. indica PP07
         |    |--F. laevis [=F. californica ssp. laevis; incl. F. longipes] H93
         |    `--F. pachyacantha [incl. F. californica var. glutinosa] H93
         `--Zygophyllum T00
              |--Z. apiculatum G04a
              |--Z. applanatum CV06
              |--Z. compressum KM08
              |--Z. cylindrifolium CV06
              |--Z. dumosum L98
              |--Z. eichwaldii SP01
              |--Z. eremaeum KM08
              |--Z. fabago [incl. Z. fabago var. brachycarpum] H93
              |--Z. fruticulosum KM08
              |--Z. giessii CV06
              |--Z. glaucum G04b
              |--Z. hirticaule CV06
              |--Z. longistipulatum CV06
              |--Z. ovatum G04b
              |--Z. simile KM08
              |--Z. simplex AGF98
              `--Z. stapfii CV06

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AGF98] Abd El-Ghani, M. M., & A. G. Fahmy. 1998. Composition of and changes in the spontaneous flora of Feiran Oasis, S Sinai, Egypt, in the last 60 years. Willdenowia 28: 123–134.

[CSF14] Campón, F. F., S. L. Silnik & L. A. Fedeli. 2014. Scorpion diversity of the Central Andes in Argentina. Journal of Arachnology 42 (2): 163–169.

[C55] Candolle, A. de. 1855. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 2. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[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.

[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.

[CV06] Craven, P., & P. Vorster. 2006. Patterns of plant diversity and endemism in Namibia. Bothalia 36 (2): 175–189.

[G04a] Gibson, N. 2004a. Flora and vegetation of the Eastern Goldfields Ranges: part 6. Mt Manning Range. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 87 (2): 35–47.

[G04b] Gibson, N. 2004b. Flora and vegetation of the Eastern Goldfields Ranges: part 7. Middle and South Ironcap, Digger Rock and Hatter Hill. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 87 (2): 49–62.

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

[K10] Keighery, G. 2010. The naturalised vascular plants of the Pilbara region, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 78 (1): 299–311.

[KM08] Keighery, G. J., & W. Muir. 2008. Vegetation and vascular flora of Faure Island, Shark Bay, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 75: 11–19.

[L98] Lienhard, C. 1998. Faune de France. France et Régions Limitrophes. 83. Psocoptères Euro-Méditerranéens. Fédération Française des Sociétés de Sciences Naturelles: Paris.

[LK14] Lyons, M. N., G. J. Keighery, L. A. Gibson & T. Handasyde. 2014. Flora and vegetation communities of selected islands off the Kimberley coast of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 81: 205–244.

[M99] Matthews, M. 1999. Heliothine Moths of Australia: A guide to bollworms and related noctuid groups. CSIRO Publishing.

[M84] Moehlman, P. D. 1984. Jackals. In: Macdonald, D. (ed.) All the World’s Animals: Carnivores pp. 56–59. Torstar Books Inc.: New York.

[O06] Outes, F. F. 1906. Instrumentos y armas neolíticos de Cochicó (Provincia de Mendoza). Anales del Museo Nacional de Buenos Aires, serie 3, 6: 277–286.

[PP07] Pandey, R. P., & P. M. Padhye. 2007. Studies on phytodiversity of Arid Machia Safari Park-Kailana in Jodhpur (Rajasthan). Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49: 15–78.

[SP01] Sasmakov, S. A., Z. M. Putieva, V. V. Kachala, Z. Saatov & A. S. Shushkov. 2001. Triterpene glycosides of Zygophyllum eichwaldii. II. Structure of zygoeichwaloside I. Chemistry of Natural Compounds 37 (4): 347–350.

[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.

Last updated: 20 July 2021.

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