We provide a short discussion of how the use of molecular data and sophisticated analytical methods has expanded our knowledge about the phylogenetic relationships among flowering plants and how this affects the familial and suprafamilial classification of succulents. A tree diagram illustrates the current hypothesis on their interrelationships and a table lists all 83 families that include succulent representatives (c.12,500 species from c.690 genera), together with information on taxonomic diversity (i.e. number of estimated species and genera) and architectural types of succulence. Furthermore, we briefly discuss some important recent modifications to the family classification of flowering plants and provide arguments for the proposed changes as far as succulents are concerned. In particular, we focus on the controversially discussed family classification of the monocotyle-donous order Asparagales and provide arguments for a revised classification that considers the distinct variation patterns in this clade.
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Vol. 2010 • No. 28