Floral diversity and evolutionary history of Ericales

Cobaea scandens

Flower of Cobaea scandens

Blüten von Jaquinia armillaris

Flowers of Jaquinia armillaris

The main goal of the project is to test recent hypotheses on floral evolution, phylogenetic relationships, and biogeographic patterns in the asterid order Ericales. Several recent molecular phylogenetic studies have provided a clearer picture of the interfamilial relationship in the order. This is in sharp contrast to what has lately been achieved at the morphological level. It is therefore not surprising that non-molecular synapomorphies for many of the ericalean clades comprising more than one family are currently lacking. Currently, we are working on an improved molecular phylogeny of the order as a whole as well as on comparative floral structure of various major subclades.