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Phytomelanic Cypsela Clade

Jose L. Panero
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taxon links [up-->]Coreopsideae [up-->]Eupatorieae [up-->]Tageteae [up-->]Neurolaeneae [up-->]Madieae [up-->]Heliantheae [up-->]Bahieae [up-->]Millerieae [up-->]Polymnieae [up-->]Perityleae [up-->]Chaenactideae [down<--]Helianthodae Interpreting the tree
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This tree diagram shows the relationships between several groups of organisms.

The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.

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Chloroplast DNA phylogeny after Panero (2007).

Containing group: Helianthodae


The Phytomelanic Cypsela Clade (PCC) contains approximately 5400 species in 460 genera classified in 11 tribes. All species of this clade have cypselae with a layer of phytomelanin that imparts a brownish black or black color to the fruit. Most species are endemic to the New World. They represent approximately half of the species of sunflowers in the Western Hemisphere and nearly one quarter of all species in the family. Most members of the group are annual or perennial herbs but shrubs and even trees are also well represented, especially in the Neotropics. Most species can be found in seasonally dry habitats. Spring ephemerals are important components of the desert floras of North America, whereas shrubby and arborescent members are mostly found in the extensive pine-oak forests of Mexico and scattered throughout the Andean forests of tropical South America and central Brazil.


Panero, J. L. 2007. Compositae: key to the tribes of the Heliantheae alliance. Pages 391-395 in Families and Genera of Vascular Plants, vol. VIII, Flowering Plants, Eudicots, Asterales. Kadereit, J. W., C. Jeffrey (eds.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Panero, J. L., and V. A. Funk. 2008. The value of sampling anomalous taxa in phylogenetic studies: major clades of the Asteraceae revealed. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 47: 757-782.

Title Illustrations
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Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Scientific Name Helianthus annuus
Location Fargo, North Dakota
Creator Photograph by Bruce Fritz
Source Image Number K5751-1
Source Collection Agricultural Research Service Image Gallery
Scientific Name Ruilopezia jahnii
Location Venezuela. Táchira: Páramo Portachuelo
Comments Monocarpic species of the paramos of westernmost Venezuela
Sex Functionally staminate and pistillate florets
Life Cycle Stage Flowering
Body Part Flowering branch
Size Approximately 0.5-1 m tall including capitulescence
Collection TEX, MY
Collector Panero, Benitez de Rojas, and Badillo
Copyright © 2004
Scientific Name Melampodium paludosum
Location cultivated, South Miami, Florida, USA
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Source Melampodium paludosum
Source Collection Flickr
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License - Version 2.0.
Copyright © 2007 Scott Zona
About This Page

Jose L. Panero
University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Jose L. Panero at

Page: Tree of Life Phytomelanic Cypsela Clade. Authored by Jose L. Panero. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Panero, Jose L. 2011. Phytomelanic Cypsela Clade. Version 11 July 2011 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Phytomelanic_Cypsela_Clade/22911/2011.07.11 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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