Fay, Michael F. Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, United Kingdom.
Chase, Mark W. Molecular Systematics Section, Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, Surrey, United Kingdom.
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An order of flowering plants, division Magnoliophyta (Angiospermae), in the core eudicots. The order consists of 26 families and about 12,500 species. The order has been expanded from the traditional concept of 12 families (core Caryophyllales), which are characterized by P-type sieve-tube plastids, the presence of betalains (except in Caryophyllaceae) instead of anthocyanins, and frequent occurrence of succulent habit. The four largest families of core Caryophyllales are Aizoaceae (about 2500 species), Amaranthaceae (about 2300 species), Cactaceae (about 2000 species), and Caryophyllaceae (about 2000 species). The expanded order is more difficult to define on the basis of morphology, but anomalous secondary growth, multicellular glands (trichomes), ellagic acid, and naphthaquinones occur frequently. Many representatives grow in marginal environments such as saltmarshes and deserts.
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