Crepidorhopalon whytei. Photo: E. Fischer

Lamiales are one of the largest orders of angiosperms, with about 22000 species. The family Scrophulariaceae, as one of their most important families, has been shown to be polyphyletic. As a consequence, this family was re-classified and several groups of former scrophulariaceous genera now belong to different families, such as the Calceolariaceae, Plantaginaceae, or Phrymaceae. Recently, we circumscribed a further family, the Linderniaceae, based on a newly discovered clade containing <i>Lindernia, Craterostigma, Artanema, Torenia,</i> and <i> Crepidorhopalon</i>. In their current circumscription, the Linderniaceae are characterized by conspicuous club-shaped stamen appendages, and by the occurrence of desiccation tolerance in genera such as Craterostigma.

In close cooperation with Prof. Bartels (IMBIO, Bonn), Prof. Fischer (Univ. Koblenz) and Prof. Borsch (FU Berlin), our ongoing research tries to identify further unplaced genera from former Scrophulariaceae that belong to the Linderniaceae clade, and to figure out the phylogenetic affinities of this family within Lamiales. Moreover, our studies aim at tracing the evolution of characters involved in desiccation tolerance in the family.

Team members currently working on this topic