Re-circumscription of the monocotyledonous family Petrosaviaceae to include Japonolirion. Brittonia 55: 214–225. 2003.—Most systematists have favored placing Petrosaviaceae close to the Triuridaceae (formerly positioned within Alismatidae) by focusing on the mycoheterotrophic habit and nearly free carpels of Petrosaviaceae. Others have favored a position near the melanthioid lilies, perhaps serving as a linking-family to the Triuridaceae. We discuss the results of recently published, independent, and combined DNA sequence analyses that indicate a strongly supported sister relationship between Petrosavia (Petrosaviaceae) and Japonolirion (Japonoliriaceae). Molecular data show no connection of these genera to the Alismatales (including Tofieldiaceae), the Melanthiaceae s. str., the Liliales, or the Triuridaceae (now in Pandanales), although there are morphological similarities to each of these groups. A relationship to the Pandanales has been indicated in some molecular analyses, but this is not supported by bootstrap/jackknife analyses or by most morphological characters. Both Petrosavia and Japonolirion are native to high-elevation habitats and have bracteate racemes, pedicellate flowers, six persistent tepals, septal nectaries, three nearly distinct carpels, simultaneous microsporogenesis, monosulcate pollen, and follicular fruits. Outside of the Alismatales, no other monocotyledons share this combination of features. We therefore suggest that the Petrosaviaceae be re-circumscribed to include Japonolirion. If the family's isolated position among the monocot orders continues to be found in phylogenetic studies, then recognition of the already published order Petrosaviales would be appropriate.
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Vol. 55 • No. 3