of the world

Photos and illustrations of selected species
Delta description of the family
Our current understanding of relationships within the family
Current and ongoing research around the world
A comprehensive listing of publications on  the family
Melastomatologists around the world

Information on the largest tribe including a synonymy database
Various databases that include references to the Melastomataceae
"Weedy" under normal circumstances, some species are especially problematic when introduced
Notes on the cultivation of melastomes, plus suggestions of species that merit attention
Web sites worth exploring


During the past few years, papers based on multi-gene cladistic analyses have been published by S.S. Renner, G. Clausing, and K. Meyer. As a result of these investigations, certain aspects of the classifications in the table below have been supported, while others have been refuted. The cladogram illustrates hypotheses of relationships between the major groups of melastomes and their distributions (New World or Old World).
To date, roughly 15% of melastome species have been sequenced, many genera are dubiously circumscribed, and there remains much work to be done before we have a well resolved, highly supported phylogeny for the family. Large-scale molecular phylogenetic investigations are currently being conducted by Darin S. Penneys (family level) and Fabian A. Michelangeli (mainly Miconieae, a tribe with ca. 1800 species).

Cladogram above used with permission from: Clausing, G., and S.S. Renner. 2001. Molecular phylogenetics of Melastomataceae and Memecylaceae: implications for character evolution. American Journal of Botany 88(3): 486-498.

This table summarizes the major taxa that have been recognized in five systems of classification of the Melastomataceae. The order has been changed from the original systems so that the similarities are more apparent.

Triana 1871
Cogniaux 1891 Krasser 1893 Vliet et al. 1981 Renner 1993
Melastomatoideae Melastomatoideae Melastomatoideae Melastomatoideae
Microlicieae Microlicieae Microlicieae Microlicieae
Rhexieae Rhexieae Rhexieae Rhexieae
Merianieae Merianieae Merianieae Merianieae
Osbeckieae Osbeckieae Osbeckieae Melastomeae (=Osbeckieae)
Sonerileae Cassebeerieae (=Sonerileae) Sonerileae Sonerileae
Miconieae Tamoneae (=Miconieae) Miconieae Miconieae
Pyxidantheae (=Blakeeae)
Blakeeae Blakeeae Blakeeae Blakeeae
Pleromeae (=Tibouchineae)
Tibouchineae Tibouchineae Tibouchineae  
Dissochaeteae Dissochaeteae Dissochaeteae  
Bertolonieae Bertolonieae    
Oxysporeae Oxysporeae    
Astronioideae Astronioideae    
Astronieae Astronieae Astronieae Astronieae
  Kibessieae   Kibessieae
Memecyloideae Memecyloideae Memecyloideae Memecylaceae
Memecyleae Memecyleae Memecyleae  
Axinandreae Axinandreae Pternandreae  
    Crypteronioideae Crypteroniaceae

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Page last updated: 1 November, 2009