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Monocots II: Commelinids

The Monocots II Team generates high impact, multi-disciplinary research in the systematics, evolution and conservation of the commelinds, a major clade of monocots that includes important families such as palms, grasses and sedges.

The Commelinid Team’s overall objective is to resolve the systematics and comparative biology of these important plant groups through high quality research in collaboration with a wider international network, thereby generating a greater understanding of their diversity, evolution and conservation needs.

We have traditionally focused our activities on three main commelinid families, namely Arecaceae, Poaceae and Cyperaceae.

  • The Arecaceae include 183 genera and almost 2,500 species with geographic hotspots of diversity in Southeast Asia, Papuasia, West Pacific, Madagascar and the New World. Traditionally under-collected and under-worked throughout their range, on account of their great bulk, many species and genera remain poorly known.
  • The Poaceae comprises c. 10,800 species in 670 genera. The family has a cosmopolitan distribution with important centres of diversity in Brazil, central North America, eastern and southern Africa and Australia.
  • The sedges (Cyperaceae) consist of c. 5,500 species in 106 genera, making them the third largest monocot family. They are more or less cosmopolitan in distribution with hotspots of diversity in north-eastern South America, eastern and southern Africa, South and Southeast Asia and Australasia. 

The team is based mainly in the Herbarium and Jodrell Laboratory with some work taking place in Seed Conservation and Horticulture.

These pages highlight the work that we do in the three main families and also give a brief insight into our work on other commelinids.