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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Order: Apiales

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Asterids > Euasterid II

Seven families, of which three occur in southern Africa. Worldwide, there are 494 genera and 5489 species, of which 43 genera and 232 species are native to southern Africa, 8 genera and 15 species are naturalised and 34 genera and 60 species cultivated in the region.

Families encountered in southern Africa

Apiaceae - Umbelliferae (carrot family)

There are about 453 genera and more than 3750 species (cosmopolitan but mainly temperate regions), of which 40 genera and 164 species are native to southern Africa and a further nine genera and 13 species have been introduced to this region and become naturalised. A further 18 genera and 29 species are under cultivation. This family contains many important medicinal and culinary herbs and there are also some species eaten as vegetables.

Araliaceae (ivy and ginseng family)

There are about 59 genera and 800 species in this family, which occurs in most parts of the world with the Malaysian region being particularly species rich. Six genera and 72 species are indigenous in southern Africa, two species are naturalised and an additional 10 genera and 21 species are cultivated.

Pittosporaceae (cheesewoods)

There are nine genera and about 200 species (Tropics and subtropics from Africa to the Pacific; not in America). Eight of the nine genera are endemic to the Australasian region. Pittosporum viridiflorum is the only species native to southern Africa. In addition, there are two additional species of Pittosporum that have become naturalised and Hymenosporum flavum is also naturalised. A further eight species in the Pittosporaceae are cultivated in gardens in southern Africa.

Families not encountered in southern Africa

Griseliniaceae, Myodocarpaceae, Pennantiaceae, Torricelliaceae