A cladistic study based on morphological characters is presented for all 28 genera of Olacaceae as well as 26 representative genera from five other families of Santalales: Loranthaceae, Misodendraceae, Opiliaceae, Santalaceae, and Viscaceae. The data matrix consists of 80 macro-morphological, palynological, and anatomical characters. The phylogenetic trees obtained show a paraphyletic Olacaceae with four main clades. Some of these clades are congruent with previously recognized tribes, but all of subfamilies are para- or polyphyletic. Examination of character transformations confirms several assumptions of evolutionary trends within Olacaceae and Santalales, but others appear to be more complex than expected. Optimization of trophic mode on the consensus tree shows that root hemiparasitism had a single origin in Santalales. Whatever the optimization procedure used, the basal-most clade of Olacaceae consists of 12 genera, among which five are known to be autotrophs, whereas the remaining three clades (15 genera) contain four genera known to be root parasites.
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