Introducing Linear Sequence

The Western Australian Herbarium has updated its sequence and arrangement of collections as part of the move to a new Biodiversity Science Centre. This systematic sequence is based on the work of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APGIII), a large-scale collaborative ordinal classification of angiosperms based on recent molecular phylogenetic research.

For the ferns, fern allies, and gymnosperms (obviously not covered in the work of the APG) we have utilised David Mabberley’s arrangement as published in the most recent edition of his Plant-Book. (Interestingly, the previous arrangement of families at the WA Herbarium was based on the Engler and Prantl sequence as published J.C. Willis’ A Dictionary of the Flowering Plants and Ferns in 1919; Mabberley’s Plant-Book is a direct descendent of Willis’ work.) Mabberley in turn uses Smith et al. (2006) as his reference for fern phylogeny.

A small number of modifications to the globally accepted list of plant families were made for national use by the Australian Plant Census (APC) team, which base their work on Mabberley’s angiosperm sequence, which is intermediate between APGII (2003) and APGIII (2009). These respective sources are indicated for each family in Table 1 below.

Many herbaria around the world are adopting the version 3 of the APG’s phylogenetic arrangement of families as a means for reordering not only their Census but the physical collection. The work of Haston et al. (2009) in developing a linear sequence, based on the results of APGIII phylogeny, is significant because it is expected that, at these higher levels of the classification, the sequence will be relatively stable into the future.

The Linear Sequence number is simply a mechanism for putting plant families into a systematic order for use in grouping and reporting. It is a number that will change as needed for the purposes of managing the WA Herbarium’s information and collection—it is not a replacement for the WA Herbarium’s old ‘Family Number’, which is now entirely deprecated. It is assigned as a real number in order to interleave new families if required without entirely changing the sequence order or its abilty to sort numerically (a widely recognised problem with the previous alphanumeric formulation of Family Number).

Our plan is to adopt a ‘punctuated equilibrium model’ whereby we will base our sequence on widely available collaborative syntheses such as those listed below. We do not intend to change the family sequence based on the very latest research as it appears, but rather wait for the next major synthesis to be published. In this way we can provide step-wise improvement in systematic knowledge while providing a stable documented reference.


Table 1. The Linear Sequence number for vascular plant families occurring in Western Australia.
Linear Sequence
WA Family Order Group Source
1.00 Lycopodiaceae Lycopodiales fern ally Mabberley
2.00 Isoetaceae Isoetales fern ally Mabberley
3.00 Selaginellaceae Selaginellales fern ally Mabberley
4.00 Psilotaceae Psilotales fern Mabberley
5.00 Ophioglossaceae Ophioglossales fern Mabberley
10.00 Gleicheniaceae Gleicheniales fern Mabberley
13.00 Lygodiaceae Schizaeales fern Mabberley
15.00 Schizaeaceae Schizaeales fern Mabberley
16.00 Marsileaceae Salviniales fern Mabberley
17.00 Salviniaceae Salviniales fern Mabberley
23.00 Cyatheaceae Cyatheales fern Mabberley
26.00 Lindsaeaceae Polypodiales fern Mabberley
28.00 Dennstaedtiaceae Polypodiales fern Mabberley
29.00 Pteridaceae Polypodiales fern Mabberley
30.00 Aspleniaceae Polypodiales fern Mabberley
32.00 Thelypteridaceae Polypodiales fern Mabberley
33.00 Blechnaceae Polypodiales fern Mabberley
35.00 Dryopteridaceae Polypodiales fern Mabberley
36.00 Lomariopsidaceae Polypodiales fern Mabberley
40.00 Polypodiaceae Polypodiales fern Mabberley
41.00 Cycadaceae Cycadales gymnosperm Mabberley
42.00 Zamiaceae Cycadales gymnosperm Mabberley
44.00 Pinaceae Pinales gymnosperm Mabberley
49.00 Podocarpaceae Pinales gymnosperm Mabberley
52.00 Cupressaceae Pinales gymnosperm Mabberley
54.00 Hydatellaceae Nymphaeales basal angiosperm APGIII
56.00 Nymphaeaceae Nymphaeales basal angiosperm APGIII
64.00 Piperaceae Piperales magnoliid APGIII
67.00 Aristolochiaceae Piperales magnoliid APGIII
68.00 Myristicaceae Magnoliales magnoliid APGIII
73.00 Annonaceae Magnoliales magnoliid APGIII
78.00 Hernandiaceae Laurales magnoliid APGIII
80.00 Lauraceae Laurales magnoliid APGIII
82.00 Araceae Alismatales monocots APGIII
84.00 Alismataceae Alismatales monocots APGIII
86.00 Hydrocharitaceae Alismatales monocots APGIII
88.00 Aponogetonaceae Alismatales monocots APGIII
89.00 Juncaginaceae Alismatales monocots APGIII
90.00 Zosteraceae Alismatales monocots APGIII
91.00 Potamogetonaceae Alismatales monocots APGIII
92.00 Posidoniaceae Alismatales monocots APGIII
93.00 Ruppiaceae Alismatales monocots APGIII
94.00 Cymodoceaceae Alismatales monocots APGIII
97.00 Burmanniaceae Dioscoreales monocots APGIII
98.00 Taccaceae Dioscoreales monocots APC
99.00 Dioscoreaceae Dioscoreales monocots APGIII
102.00 Stemonaceae Pandanales monocots APGIII
104.00 Pandanaceae Pandanales monocots APGIII
108.00 Alstroemeriaceae Liliales monocots APGIII
109.00 Colchicaceae Liliales monocots APGIII
112.00 Smilacaceae Liliales monocots APGIII
115.00 Orchidaceae Asparagales monocots APGIII
116.00 Boryaceae Asparagales monocots APGIII
120.00 Hypoxidaceae Asparagales monocots APGIII
121.00 Tecophilaeaceae Asparagales monocots APGIII
124.00 Iridaceae Asparagales monocots APGIII
126.00 Xanthorrhoeaceae Asparagales monocots APGIII
127.00 Amaryllidaceae Asparagales monocots APC
128.00 Asparagaceae Asparagales monocots APGIII
129.00 Asphodelaceae Asparagales monocots APC
130.00 Hemerocallidaceae Asparagales monocots APC
131.00 Alliaceae Asparagales monocots APC
132.00 Agapanthaceae Asparagales monocots APC
133.00 Arecaceae Arecales commelinids APGIII
135.00 Commelinaceae Commelinales commelinids APGIII
136.00 Philydraceae Commelinales commelinids APGIII
137.00 Pontederiaceae Commelinales commelinids APGIII
138.00 Haemodoraceae Commelinales commelinids APGIII
142.00 Musaceae Zingiberales commelinids APGIII
143.00 Cannaceae Zingiberales commelinids APGIII
147.00 Dasypogonaceae Dasypogonales commelinids APGIII
148.00 Typhaceae Poales commelinids APGIII
151.00 Xyridaceae Poales commelinids APGIII
152.00 Eriocaulaceae Poales commelinids APGIII
155.00 Juncaceae Poales commelinids APGIII
156.00 Cyperaceae Poales commelinids APGIII
157.00 Anarthriaceae Poales commelinids APGIII
158.00 Centrolepidaceae Poales commelinids APGIII
159.00 Restionaceae Poales commelinids APGIII
160.00 Flagellariaceae Poales commelinids APGIII
162.00 Ecdeiocoleaceae Poales commelinids APGIII
163.00 Poaceae Poales commelinids APGIII
164.00 Ceratophyllaceae Ceratophyllales eudicot APGIII
166.00 Papaveraceae Ranunculales eudicot APGIII
169.00 Menispermaceae Ranunculales eudicot APGIII
171.00 Ranunculaceae Ranunculales eudicot APGIII
174.00 Platanaceae Proteales eudicot APGIII
175.00 Proteaceae Proteales eudicot APGIII
181.00 Dilleniaceae Dilleniales core eudicot APGIII
192.00 Crassulaceae Saxifragales core eudicot APGIII
193.00 Aphanopetalaceae Saxifragales core eudicot APGIII
196.00 Haloragaceae Saxifragales core eudicot APGIII
197.00 Vitaceae Vitales rosid APGIII
199.00 Zygophyllaceae Zygophyllales eurosids I APGIII
201.00 Fabaceae Fabales eurosids I APGIII
202.00 Surianaceae Fabales eurosids I APGIII
203.00 Polygalaceae Fabales eurosids I APGIII
204.00 Rosaceae Rosales eurosids I APGIII
208.00 Rhamnaceae Rosales eurosids I APGIII
210.00 Cannabaceae Rosales eurosids I APGIII
211.00 Moraceae Rosales eurosids I APGIII
212.00 Urticaceae Rosales eurosids I APGIII
217.00 Casuarinaceae Fagales eurosids I APGIII
220.00 Apodanthaceae Cucurbitales eurosids I APGIII
224.00 Cucurbitaceae Cucurbitales eurosids I APGIII
229.00 Celastraceae Celastrales eurosids I APGIII
232.00 Oxalidaceae Oxalidales eurosids I APGIII
234.00 Elaeocarpaceae Oxalidales eurosids I APGIII
235.00 Cephalotaceae Oxalidales eurosids I APGIII
238.00 Rhizophoraceae Malpighiales eurosids I APGIII
239.00 Erythroxylaceae Malpighiales eurosids I APGIII
242.00 Euphorbiaceae Malpighiales eurosids I APGIII
246.00 Picrodendraceae Malpighiales eurosids I APGIII
247.00 Phyllanthaceae Malpighiales eurosids I APGIII
248.00 Elatinaceae Malpighiales eurosids I APGIII
254.00 Chrysobalanaceae Malpighiales eurosids I APGIII
256.00 Putranjivaceae Malpighiales eurosids I APGIII
257.00 Passifloraceae Malpighiales eurosids I APGIII
258.00 Turneraceae Malpighiales eurosids I APC
260.00 Salicaceae Malpighiales eurosids I APGIII
261.00 Violaceae Malpighiales eurosids I APGIII
267.00 Linaceae Malpighiales eurosids I APGIII
270.00 Clusiaceae Malpighiales eurosids I APGIII
272.00 Podostemaceae Malpighiales eurosids I APGIII
273.00 Hypericaceae Malpighiales eurosids I APGIII
274.00 Geraniaceae Geraniales rosid APGIII
276.00 Melianthaceae Geraniales rosid APGIII
277.00 Combretaceae Myrtales rosid APGIII
278.00 Lythraceae Myrtales rosid APGIII
279.00 Onagraceae Myrtales rosid APGIII
281.00 Myrtaceae Myrtales rosid APGIII
282.00 Melastomataceae Myrtales rosid APGIII
295.00 Nitrariaceae Sapindales eurosids II APGIII
297.00 Burseraceae Sapindales eurosids II APGIII
298.00 Anacardiaceae Sapindales eurosids II APGIII
299.00 Sapindaceae Sapindales eurosids II APGIII
300.00 Rutaceae Sapindales eurosids II APGIII
301.00 Simaroubaceae Sapindales eurosids II APGIII
302.00 Meliaceae Sapindales eurosids II APGIII
309.00 Malvaceae Malvales eurosids II APGIII
311.00 Thymelaeaceae Malvales eurosids II APGIII
312.00 Bixaceae Malvales eurosids II APGIII
317.00 Tropaeolaceae Brassicales eurosids II APGIII
318.00 Moringaceae Brassicales eurosids II APGIII
323.00 Bataceae Brassicales eurosids II APGIII
325.00 Emblingiaceae Brassicales eurosids II APGIII
328.00 Gyrostemonaceae Brassicales eurosids II APGIII
329.00 Resedaceae Brassicales eurosids II APGIII
330.00 Capparaceae Brassicales eurosids II APGIII
331.00 Cleomaceae Brassicales eurosids II APGIII
332.00 Brassicaceae Brassicales eurosids II APGIII
336.00 Olacaceae Santalales core eudicot APGIII
337.00 Opiliaceae Santalales core eudicot APGIII
338.00 Santalaceae Santalales core eudicot APGIII
339.00 Loranthaceae Santalales core eudicot APGIII
342.00 Frankeniaceae Caryophyllales core eudicot APGIII
343.00 Tamaricaceae Caryophyllales core eudicot APGIII
344.00 Plumbaginaceae Caryophyllales core eudicot APGIII
345.00 Polygonaceae Caryophyllales core eudicot APGIII
346.00 Droseraceae Caryophyllales core eudicot APGIII
355.00 Caryophyllaceae Caryophyllales core eudicot APGIII
357.00 Amaranthaceae Caryophyllales core eudicot APGIII
358.00 Chenopodiaceae Caryophyllales core eudicot APC
364.00 Aizoaceae Caryophyllales core eudicot APGIII
365.00 Phytolaccaceae Caryophyllales core eudicot APGIII
367.00 Nyctaginaceae Caryophyllales core eudicot APGIII
368.00 Molluginaceae Caryophyllales core eudicot APGIII
371.00 Basellaceae Caryophyllales core eudicot APGIII
374.00 Portulacaceae Caryophyllales core eudicot APGIII
375.00 Cactaceae Caryophyllales core eudicot APGIII
382.00 Balsaminaceae Ericales asterids APGIII
386.00 Polemoniaceae Ericales asterids APGIII
387.00 Lecythidaceae Ericales asterids APGIII
390.00 Sapotaceae Ericales asterids APGIII
391.00 Ebenaceae Ericales asterids APGIII
392.00 Primulaceae Ericales asterids APGIII
403.00 Ericaceae Ericales asterids APGIII
409.00 Rubiaceae Gentianales euasterids I APGIII
410.00 Gentianaceae Gentianales euasterids I APGIII
411.00 Loganiaceae Gentianales euasterids I APGIII
413.00 Apocynaceae Gentianales euasterids I APGIII
415.00 Boraginaceae Euasterids I euasterids I APGIII
416.00 Convolvulaceae Solanales euasterids I APGIII
417.00 Solanaceae Solanales euasterids I APGIII
419.00 Sphenocleaceae Solanales euasterids I APGIII
420.00 Hydroleaceae Solanales euasterids I APGIII
423.00 Oleaceae Lamiales euasterids I APGIII
427.00 Plantaginaceae Lamiales euasterids I APGIII
428.00 Scrophulariaceae Lamiales euasterids I APGIII
430.00 Linderniaceae Lamiales euasterids I APGIII
431.00 Pedaliaceae Lamiales euasterids I APGIII
432.00 Lamiaceae Lamiales euasterids I APGIII
433.00 Phrymaceae Lamiales euasterids I APGIII
435.00 Orobanchaceae Lamiales euasterids I APGIII
436.00 Lentibulariaceae Lamiales euasterids I APGIII
437.00 Acanthaceae Lamiales euasterids I APGIII
438.00 Bignoniaceae Lamiales euasterids I APGIII
441.00 Verbenaceae Lamiales euasterids I APGIII
442.00 Byblidaceae Lamiales euasterids I APGIII
443.00 Martyniaceae Lamiales euasterids I APGIII
448.00 Aquifoliaceae Aquifoliales euasterids II APGIII
450.00 Campanulaceae Asterales euasterids II APGIII
452.00 Stylidiaceae Asterales euasterids II APGIII
457.00 Menyanthaceae Asterales euasterids II APGIII
458.00 Goodeniaceae Asterales euasterids II APGIII
460.00 Asteraceae Asterales euasterids II APGIII
462.00 Eremosynaceae Escalloniales euasterids II APC
467.00 Caprifoliaceae Dipsacales euasterids II APGIII
471.00 Pittosporaceae Apiales euasterids II APGIII
472.00 Araliaceae Apiales euasterids II APGIII
474.00 Apiaceae Apiales euasterids II APGIII

Written by Alex Chapman, Cheryl Parker and Louise Biggs; 16 April 2010.