Large Cape Clades
Home SABiGG Members Large Cape Clades Meetings Publications Network Resources Other Links


High diversity in the Cape floristic region results from a number of genera or clades containing unusually high numbers of species. Here we list the twenty largest genera in the Cape flora (Goldblatt & Manning, 2000), followed by other Cape floral clades listed on the basis of being both large (>50 species) and having a high proportion of species in the Cape floristic region (Linder, 2003). Following the name of each of these clades we list the family name in parentheses, followed by the names of researchers working on phylogenetic reconstruction of the particular clade where known.

 Details of the South African big plant clades from Linder (2003)


Twenty largest genera in the Cape flora:


Erica (Ericaceae)


Aspalathus  (Fabaceae)  Dr. Julie Hawkins, Ms. Dawn Edwards


Pelargonium (Geraniaceae)    Dr. Freek Bakker, Dr. Alastair Culham


Agathosma (Rutaceae) Mr. Terry Trinder-Smith


Phylica (Rhamnaceae) Dr. James Richardson


Lampranthus (Mesembryanthemacea)     


Oxalis (Oxalidaeceae)  Mr. Kenneth Oberlander, Dr. Leanne Dreyer


Moraea (Iridaceae) Dr. Peter Goldblatt, Dr. Gail Reeves, Dr. Vincent Savolainen


Cliffortia (Rosaceae)   Dr. Chris Whitehouse


Senecio (Asteraceae)


Muraltia (Polygalaceae)    Dr. Felix Forest




Selago (Scrophulariaceae)




Disa (Orchidaceae) Mr. Benny Bytebier




Restio    (Restionaceae)  Prof. Peter Linder, Dr. Chris Hardy, Mr. Philip Moline









Other large Cape floral clades:


Proteae (Proteaceae)    Dr. Gail Reeves


Relhaniinae (Asteraceae)          


Podalyrieae, Liparieae  (Fabaceae)    Dr. Michelle van der Bank


Arctoteae (Asteraceae)     


Psoraleeae (Fabaceae)


Amellus group (Asteraceae –Astereae)


Ursiniinae (Asteraceae)


Bruniaceae (Bruniaceae) Marcus Quint, Regine Classen-Bockhoff


Ficinia (Cyperaceae)  Dr. Muthama Muasya


Pentaschistis –Pentameris –Prionanthium (Poaceae)  Ms. Chloe Galley   


Prismatocarpeae, Siphocodoneae, Merciereae (Campanulaceae)   


Heliophila, Brachycarpaea, Cycloptychis, Silicularia, Thlaspeocarpa, Schlechteria (Brassicaceae)  Prof. Klaus Mummenhoff


Centella (Araliaceae)