Johannes Lundberg 2005. What--if anything--is Escalloniaceae. Poster presented at the XVII International Botanical Congress, July 17--23, 2005, Vienna, Austria. [PDF]

Some groups of angiosperms have been treated as veritable dustbins, where various unrelated but somewhat similar taxa have been placed. One of the more notorious has been the Escallonia-alliance. Its status as well as circumscription has been quite variable, variously treated as subfamilies under Saxifragaceae (sensu Engler), a family of its own, or included in Grossulariaceae (e.g., Cronquist). Recently, the alliance has been extensively splitted, and in the latest APG-system it now finds its members in several parts of the eudicots, mostly in various families of Asterales. Of the genera still considered somewhat closely related to Escallonia, three have been erected to monogeneric families (i.e., Eremosynaceae, Polyosmaceae and Tribelaceae), while Escalloniaceae itself consists of five genera (Anopterus, Escallonia, Forgesia, Quintinia and Valdivia). A sixth, thorougly neglected genus, Platyspermation, has also sometimes been placed in Escalloniaceae. These families are in the APG-system included among the campanulids (Euasterids II) but unplaced as to order, together with the small families Bruniaceae, Columelliaceae, Paracryphiaceae and Sphenostemonaceae. The relationships between these families, as well as between most of the orders of the campanulids, have so far not been known with any certainty.