Malvaceae Info: Genera of Malvaceae

Malvaceae Info (Home)

The list of genera of Malvaceae used in the Malvaceae Info web site is based on that given in Kubitzki & Bayer [1], with the following modifications

  1. J. A. Tate's erection of the genus Andeimalva [2] is recognised.
  2. The Australian genus Indagator [a, g] (described in 2002) is recognised.
  3. The South American genera Bordasia [b] (described in 2003) and Spirabutilon (described in 2009) are tentatively recognised.
  4. Argyrodendron is separated from Heritiera [f].
  5. The South East Asian genus Thepparatia [10] (described in 2006) is tentatively recognised.

The separation of Tropidococcus [c] from Modiolastrum is not recognised (see discussion below). Similarly the separation of Navaea from Lavatera is not recognised, pending a resolution of generic boundaries within the Malva+Lavatera clade. The separation of Excentrodendron from Burrertiodendron [d, e, 12] is not recognised.

Pimia (included in Sterculiaceae: Lasiopetaleae by Hutchinson [6], but omitted from Malvales by Kubitzki & Bayer [1]) has recently been identified as Commersonia bartramia, and is therefore excluded as a separate genus.

It is possible that some of the endoparasitic achlorophyllous genera Apodanthes, Berlinianche and Pilostyles fall into Malvaceae [3, 4], though the current balance of evidence places then in the order Cucurbitales, rather than Malvales. (Two other endoparasitic achlorophyllous genera, Bdallophyton and Cytinus, are the sister group to Muntingiaceae, in Malvales.) All five genera are therefore excluded from the Malvaceae Info web site, other than being discussed in the page on allied families.

The divisiion of these genera into subfamilies, tribes and subtribes differs from that given in Kubitzki & Bayer as follows

  1. Grewioideae is divided into tribes Grewieae and Sparrmannieae, but with many genera left as Grewioideae incertae sedis:
  2. Matisieae is placed in Malvoideae rather than Bombacoideae
  3. Kydieae is subsumed in Hibisceae [5]
  4. Malveae is divided into subtribes Malvineae and Abutilinae, based on the cladograms of Tate et al [7].
  5. Alyogyne is treated as Malvoideae incertae sedis, rather than as an aberrant genus in Gossypieae. (I favor the erection of a monogeneric tribe Alyogyneae.)
  6. Jumelleanthus is placed in Hibisceae [11]
  7. Camptostemon, Lagunaria, Pentaplaris and Uladendron are placed as Malvoideae incertae sedis, rather than as Malvaceae incertae sedis (inter Malvoideae et Bombacoideae)
  8. Mortoniodendron is placed in Tilioideae, instead of as Malvaceae incertae sedis [13]
  9. Bordasia and Spirabutilon are tentatively placed in Abutlinae, pending the acquisition of additional information.
  10. Indagator is placed in Brownlowoideae, following Cheek [g]
  11. Thepparatia is placed in Gossypieae.[10]

Further revision to the number and scope of genera will be necessary. Known problems include

  1. The traditional generic boundaries between Malva and Lavatera are incorrect; the nature of the necessary revision remains unclear.
  2. Dendrosida is nested within a 'core Sida' clade [7].
  3. Sida is polyphyletic; in particular Sida hermaphrodita and Sida hookeriana are remote from other species of Sida [7].
  4. Hibiscus is a grade in which is nested most, if not all, other genera of Hibisceae, and the previously recognised tribes Decaschisteae, Kydieae and Malvavisceae [5, 8, 9].
  5. Malvatheca (the clade incorporating Malvoideae and Bombacoideae) is poorly resolved, with the strong possibility that either or both of Malvoideae and Bombacoideae as here constituted is not monophyletic. This might be resolved by uniting the two subfamilies into a single subfamily, or by introducing additional subfamilies.
  6. Byttneria is paraphyletic with respect to Ayenia.
  7. Theobroma is paraphyletic with respect to Herrania.
  8. Sampled species of Abutilon form a clade which is paraphyletic with respect to Bastardia and Bastardiopsis [7]


  1. Modiola is very close to Modiolastrum. It might be appropriate to combine (as has been done before) these two genera as part of a rationalisation of the genera of Malveae. (Consequently, in the absence of knowledge of the grounds on which Tropidococcus was segregated from Modiolastrum, I leave M. pinnatipartitum in Modiolastrum).
  2. Abutilon is at least diphyletic.
  3. Anoda may be paraphyletic with respect to Periptera.
  4. Corchorus may be paraphyletic with respect to Pseudocorchorus.

and many elements of Malvaceae have not been studied using molecular data.


  1. Kubitzki. K. & Bayer, Clemens, Malvaceae, in The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants V (2003)
  2. Tate, Jennifer A., Andeimalva, a new genus of Malvaceae from Andean South America, Lundellia 6: 10-18 (2003)
  3. Nickrent et al, Phylogenetic inference in Rafflesiales: the influence of rate heterogeneity and horizontal gene transfer, BMC Evolutionary Biology 4:40 (2004)
  4. Blarer et al, Comparative floral structure and systematics in Apodanthaceae (Rafflesiales), Plant Syst. Evol. (2004)
  5. B. E. Pfeil and M. D. Crisp, What to do with Hibiscus? A proposed nomenclatural resolution for a large and well known genus of Malvaceae and comments on paraphyly. Australian Systematic Botany 18: 49-60 (2005)
  6. Hutchinson, The Genera of Flowering Plants (1967)
  7. Tate et al, Phylogenetic Relationships Within the Tribe Malveae (Malvaceae, subfamily Malvoideae) as Inferred from ITS Sequence Data, American Journal of Botany 92(4): 584-602 (2005)
  8. Pfeil, B, et al, Phylogeny of Hibiscus and the Tribe Hibisceae (Malvaceae) Using Chloroplast DNA Sequences of ndhF and the rpl16 Intron, Systematic Botany 27(2): 333-350 (2002)
  9. Pfeil et al., Paralogy and Orthology in the Malvaceae rpb2 Gene Family: Investigation of Gene Duplication in Hibiscus, Mol Biol Evol. 21: 1428-1437 (2004)
  10. Phuphathanaphong, L. S. Puangpen,and G. Nuvongsri, Thepparatia (Malvaceae), a new genus from Thailand, Thai For. Bull. (Bot.) 34: 195-200 (2006)
  11. Koopman, M., & Baum, D.A., Phylogeny and Biogeography of Tribe Hibisceae (Malvaceae) on Madagascar, Systematic Botany 33(2): 364-374 (2008)
  12. Flora of China (Harvard)
  13. Nyffeler et al, Phylogenetic analysis of the Malvadendrina clade (Malvaceae s.l.) based on plastid DNA sequences, Organisms, Diversity and Evolution 5(2): 109-123 (2005)


  1. Halford, Austrobaileya 6(2): 337 (2002).
  2. Krapovickas, Bordasia Krapov., nuevo género de Malváceas, Bonplandia (Corrientes) 12(1-4): 133-135 (2003)
  3. Krapovickas: Tropidococcus Krapov., nuevo género de Malváceas, Bonplandia (Corrientes) 12(1-4): 64 (2003)
  4. Li et al, Sequences of nrDNA support Excentrodendron and Burretiodendron (Malvaceae), Harvard Papers in Botany 9(1): 83-88 (2004)
  5. Gao et al., Acta Phytotax. Sin. 44: 538-550. 2006
  6. Wilkie et al, Phylogenetic Relationships within the Subfamily Sterculioideae (Malvaceae/Sterculiaceae-Sterculieae) Using the Chloroplast Gene ndhF, Syst. Bot. 31(1): 160-170 (2006)
  7. Cheek, The identity and conservation status of Indagator fordii (Brownlowiaceae/Malvaceae-Brownlowioideae, formerly Tiliaceae), a monotypic tree genus from Queensland, Australia, Kew Bulletin 62: 641-645 (2007)

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© 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012 Stewart R. Hinsley