A molecular phylogeny and classification of Bignoniaceae

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American Journal of Botany


Bignoniaceae are woody, trees, shrubs, and lianas found in all tropical floras of the world with lesser representation in temperate regions. Phylogenetic analyses of chloroplast sequences (rbcL, ndhF, trnL-F) were undertaken to infer evolutionary relationships in Bignoniaceae and to revise its classification. Eight clades are recognized as tribes (Bignonieae, Catalpeae, Coleeae, Crescentieae, Jacarandeae, Oroxyleae, Tecomeae, Tourrettieae); additional inclusive clades are named informally. Jacarandeae and Catalpeae are resurrected; the former is sister to the rest of the family, and the latter occupies an unresolved position within the “core” Bignoniaceae. Tribe Eccremocarpeae is included in Tourrettieae. Past classifications recognized a large Tecomeae, but this tribe is paraphyletic with respect to all other tribes. Here Tecomeae are reduced to a clade of approximately 12 genera with a worldwide distribution in both temperate and tropical ecosystems. Two large clades, Bignonieae and Crescentiina, account for over 80% of the species in the family. Coleeae and Crescentieae are each included in larger clades, the Paleotropical alliance and Tabebuia alliance, respectively; each alliance includes a grade of taxa assigned to the traditional Tecomeae. Parsimony inference suggests that the family originated in the neotropics, with at least five dispersal events leading to the Old World representatives.

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