Western Australian Ordinal Phylogeny

Hint: by arranging the two windows as suggested here, rather than closing the spawned window, subsequent FloraBase pages immediately appear within it.

The Phylogeny Browser provides the user with a view of the higher-level relationship of all plant orders and families, and indicating those occurring in WA. It uses interactive cladograms which integrate with plant family pages elsewhere in FloraBase, and with other web resources. Once loaded, they also link to further cladograms for the lower plants, which indicate the relative placement of the bryophytes, algae, fungi and lichens in the 'tree of life'.

The Phylogeny Browser, in its first incarnation, presents the relationship of orders of flowering plants as defined by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group II (APG II), now generally considered the de facto framework for flowering plant phylogeny. For further reading, refer to:

  • APG II (2003). Classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG II Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 141: 399-436.
  • Judd, W.S. et al (2002). Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach 2nd ed., Sinauer Assoc; (ISBN: 0878934030) - for non-angiosperm data.

Other online reference sites directy utilised in this work are:

  • Families of Flowering Plants Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. (1992 onwards). The families of flowering plants: descriptions, illustrations, identification, and information retrieval. Version: 29th July 2006. http://delta-intkey.com.
  • Angiosperm Phylogeny Web Stevens, P. F. (2001 onwards). Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 7, May 2006. http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/research/APweb.
  • Tree of Life Maddison, D. R. and K.-S. Schulz (eds.) (1996-2006). The Tree of Life Web Project. http://tolweb.org


Java must be installed beforehand and is available here.

The Phylogeny Browser is constructed using the TouchGraph LinkBrowser applet. Note - this does not need to be installed; it is loaded automatically from our server if Java is installed on your computer.


Once the cladogram has loaded, you can navigate around the tree by:

  • dragging the background to reposition the tree
  • drag a node around to 're-shape' the tree presentation
  • clicking on a node to expand the next clade
  • hovering over a 'leaf node' will bring up a dialog box showing the WA families within that order (if present). These family names link to pages directly in FloraBase, which appear in another window; accompanying icons link to external resources in most cases.
  • the drop-down box and slider at the top of the cladogram allow the user to:
    • zoom into or away from parts of the tree
    • rotate the tree clockwise or anti-clockwise
    • set the number of nodes shown around the current node locality.


  • by arranging the two windows as suggested in the above image, rather than closing the spawned window, subsequent FloraBase pages, or external content, immediately appear within it.


  • the data driving the Browser is derived exclusively from the APGII publication and does not cater for subsequent phylogenetic hypotheses published elsewhere. This is intentional, providing a stable reference point until further collaborative statements on the angiosperms are generated
  • changes to the structure, filenames or content on the external sites linked to by the Browser may cause certain links to fail, or return unexpected data.

Compiled by Alex Chapman; last updated on 3 August 2006.