Recent molecular studies inform relationships among Cactaceae and early cactus evolution. Results of these studies are not uniform. Three topics are considered: (1) the phylogenetic position of Pereskia, (2) characters of the outgroups of Cactaceae, and (3) the character evolution implied thereby. If diminutive habit, succulence, and stem photosynthesis predate the Cactaceae, then character states in Pereskia may represent reversals.
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Vol. 2008 • No. 14