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Linnaeus’ sexual system and flowering plant phylogeny
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Bergianska botaniska trädgården (tills m Kungl. Vet. Ak.). Department of Botany.
2007 (Swedish)In: Nordic Journal of Botany, Vol. 25, 5-6 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [sv]

Carl Linnaeus brought order to the knowledge of plants and animals by arranging all known species in encyclopaedic

works. He proposed a system of plants, the sexual system, based on the number and arrangement of male and female

organs. His artificial sexual system has since long been replaced by ‘natural’ or phylogenetic systems but there has never

been a comprehensive comparison of the sexual system with modern plant classification. The currently most often used

classification of flowering plants is the APG-system. It is based on comprehensive phylogenies of flowering plants,

reconstructed by analyses of DNA data. The APG-system covers all flowering plants which are classified in 453 families

and these are classified in 45 orders. Most of the species were not known at time of Linnaeus. Families and orders in the

APG-system are arranged in larger informal groups representing major branches in the flowering plant phylogenetic tree.

Three such groups are the monocots, the rosids, and the asterids.

I have examined all genera published in Species plantarum (1753) and classified them according to order and major

groups in the APG-system. All classes except one, number 15 Tetradynamia, comprises groups of unrelated plants. Not

surprisingly, the sexual system does not display what we know today about plant relationships. As is evident from this

analysis, there is little correspondence between the sexual system and the APG-system. This does not mean that the sexual

system has been useless or misleading. When it was introduced, it formed the basis for much intensified research and

increased knowledge of plants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 25, 5-6 p.
National Category
Biological Systematics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-16259ISI: 000255450500003OAI: diva2:182779
Published 2008Available from: 2008-12-16 Created: 2008-12-16 Last updated: 2011-01-11Bibliographically approved

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