Outline View (with links)

The food plants listed here are classified according to names and relationships accepted by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Website, maintained by the Missouri Botanical Garden: Stevens, P. F. (2001 onwards). Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 12, July 2012.

Obviously, this list does not include the full diversity of plants, or even a complete listing of plant families.  Even if it did, it would be subject to change, as plant scientists are continually reconstructing evolutionary history to improve our understanding of how plant species are related.  The APG website provides a terrific discussion of how we should think about classification and phylogenetic trees.

Names ending in “ales” are of the taxonomic level of “order.”  Names ending in “aceae” are at the level of “family.”


Not meat, but also not plants:  fungi and most algae

Green Plants: green algae and land plants

  • Green algae (Ulva – sea lettuce)

Land plants: bryophytes (mosses, etc) and plants with well-developed vascular tissue (e.g. lycophytes, ferns, gymnosperms, angiosperms)

  • Fern fiddleheads

Seed plants:  gymnosperms (conifers, cycads, etc) and flowering plants

Gymnosperms

  1. Pinales
    1. Pinaceae
      1. Pine nuts (Pinus species)
      2. Juniper berries (Juniperus communis)
  2. Ginkgoales
    1. Ginkgoaceae: ginkgo nuts (Ginkgo biloba)

Flowering plants

  1. Austrobaileyales
    1. Illiaceae: Star anise (Illicium verum)
  2. Piperales
    1. Piperaceae: Black, white, and green pepper (Piper nigrum)
  3. Magnoliales
    1. Annonaceae
      1. Pawpaw
      2. Cherimoya
    2. Myristicaceae: Nutmeg/mace (Myristica fragrans)
  4. Laurales
    1. Lauraceae
      1. Bay laurel
      2. Cinnamon
      3. Sassafras
      4. Avocado
  5. Alismatales
    1. Araceae: Colocasia esculenta –  taro root
  6. Asparagales
    1. Alliaceae (=Amaryllidaceae)
      1. Onion
      2. Shallot
      3. Garlic
      4. Leek
      5. Scallion
      6. Chives
    2. Asparagaceae: Asparagus
    3. Orchidaceae: Vanilla
    4. Iridaceae: saffron
  7. Dioscoreales
    1. Dioscoreaceae: Yam (not sweet potato)
  8. Arecales
    1. Arecaceae
      1. Coconut (Cocos nucifera)
      2. Dates (Phoenix dactylifera)
      3. Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis)
      4. Heart of palm
  9. Zingiberales
    1. Musaceae: Banana and plantain
    2. Zingiberaceae
      1. Ginger
      2. Cardamom
      3. Turmeric
  10. Poales
    1. Bromeliaceae: pineapple
    2. Poaceae
      1. Wheat
      2. Rice
      3. Corn
      4. Teff
      5. Millet
      6. Rye
      7. Oat
      8. Barley
      9. Sugarcane
      10. Sorghum
      11. Lemongrass
      12. Bamboo
  11. Ranunculales
    1. Papaveraceae: Poppyseed
  12. Saxifragales
    1. Grossulariaceae: Currant and Gooseberry
  13. Vitales
    1. Vitaceae: Grape
  14. Oxalidales
    1. Oxalidaceae
      1. Star fruit (Averrhoa carambola)
      2. Sorrel (Oxalis)
  15. Malpighiales
    1. Passifloraceae: Passion fruit (Passiflora edulis)
    2. Euphorbiaceae: Cassava, manioc (Manihot esculenta)
    3. Linaceae: flax
  16. Fagales
    1. Betulaceae: hazelnut (filbert)
    2. Juglandaceae
      1. Walnut
      2. Hickory and Pecan
  17. Cucurbitales
    1. Cucurbitaceae
      1. The Cucurbita pepo group:  acorn squash, gem squash, pattypan squash, pumpkin, spaghetti squash, yellow crookneck squash, yellow summer squash, zucchini
      2. Other squashes (mostly Cucurbita maxima and C. moschata):  butternut, hubbard, delicata, turban, banana, kobocha
      3. Melons:  honeydew, muskmelon, cantaloupe, watermelon
      4. Cucumber
      5. Chayote squash
  18. Rosales
    1. Rosaceae
      1. Rose
      2. Almond
      3. Rubus spp.:  raspberry, blackberry, others
      4. Strawberry
      5. Apple
      6. Pear
      7. Peach
      8. Apricot
      9. Cherry
      10. Plum
      11. Nectarine, pluot, aprium
      12. Saskatoon berry (Amelanchier)
    2. Moraceae
      1. Fig
      2. Mulberry
    3. Urticaceae: Nettles
  19. Fabales
    1. Fabaceae
      1. Tamarind
      2. String Beans (various)
      3. Dry Beans (various, black-eyed peas, chick peas)
      4. Lentils
      5. Peas
      6. Carob
      7. Peanut
      8. Jicama
      9. Soy
  20. Myrtales
    1. Lythraceae: Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
    2. Myrtaceae
      1. Clove
      2. Guava
      3. Allspice
  21. Brassicales
    1. Brassicaceae
      1. Brassica oleracea: Kale, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kohlrabi, Collard Greens
      2. Mustard greens
      3. Napa cabbage
      4. Mizuna
      5. Bok choi
      6. Mustard
      7. Radishes
      8. Canola Oil
      9. Rutabagas
      10. Turnip
      11. Horseradish/wasabi
      12. Watercress
      13. Arugula
      14. Tatsoi
      15. Maca
    2. Caricaceae: Papaya
    3. Capparaceae: Capers
  22. Sapindales
    1. Sapindaceae: Maple syrup (Acer species)
    2. Anacardiaceae  (poison oak/ivy/sumac family)
      1. Mango
      2. Pistachio
      3. Cashew
      4. Pink peppercorns (Schinus terebinthifolius)
    3. Rutaceae
      1. Citrus: lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, bergamot, various citrons, kaffir lime leaves
      2. Sichuan peppercorns (Zanthoxylum simulans)
  23. Malvales (cotton, hibiscus, hollyhock)
    1. Malvaceae
      1. Chocolate
      2. Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)
      3. Durian fruit
      4. Okra
      5. Hibiscus flower tea
  24. Caryophyllales
    1. Polygonaceae
      1. Buckwheat
      2. Rhubarb
      3. Sorrel
    2. Portulacaceae: Purslane and miner’s lettuce
    3.  Cactaceae
      1. Dragon fruit
      2. Prickly Pear fruits and pads
    4. Amaranthaceae
      1. Amaranth seeds and leaves
      2. Quinoa
      3. Spinach
      4. Chard
      5. Beets
      6. Sea beans (Salicornia)
  25. Ericales
    1. Actinidiaceae: Kiwi fruit
    2. Theaceae: Tea
    3. Ericaceae
      1. Cranberry
      2. Blueberry
      3. Huckleberry
      4. Wintergreen
    4. Lecythidaceae: Brazilnut
    5. Ebenaceae: Persimmon (Diospyros species)
    6. Sapotaceae: Sapodilla and the “miracle fruit” (Synsepalum dulcificum)
  26. Gentianales
    1. Rubiaceae: coffee
  27. Solanales
    1. Solanaceae
      1. Tomato
      2. Potato
      3. Eggplant
      4. Tobacco
      5. Peppers
      6. Tomatillo
      7. Andean and Himalayan and tropical sweet fruits:  Inca golden berries and goji berries and tree tomatoes, ground cherries
    2. Convolvulaceae: Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), not yam
  28. Lamiales
    1. Lamiaceae
      1. Herbs such as mint, thyme, basil, marjoram, savory, oregano, lavender, rosemary, sage, hyssop, lemon balm
      2. Chia seeds
    2. Oleaceae: Olive
    3. Pedaliaceae: Sesame (Sesamum)
  29. Aquifoliales
    1. Aquifoliaceae: Yerba mate, holly (Ilex paraguariensis)
  30. Dipsacales
    1. Adoxaceae: Elderberry (Sambucus)
  31. Asterales
    1. Asteraceae
      1. Tarragon
      2. Sunflower (seeds, sprouts)
      3. Lettuce
      4. Artichoke
      5. Sunchoke
      6. Chicories
      7. Dandelion
      8. Edible chyrysanthemum
  32. Apiales
    1. Apiaceae
      1. Carrot
      2. Celery (root, stem/leaves, seed)
      3. Parsley (root and leaves)
      4. Cilantro/coriander
      5. Cumin
      6. Fennel (stems, seeds)
      7. Caraway
      8. Anise seed
      9. Parsnip
      10. Dill
      11. Chervil
      12. Lovage

6 responses to “Outline View (with links)

  1. Is the list accurate? Why would an American supermarket have hemlock in it (No.32 x)?

    Like

    • The list is biologically accurate to the best of our knowledge. You’re right that we do have a few interesting or charismatic species on the list that are not technically food but that help our understanding of the relationships among and biology of species in those clades. Thanks for the comment!

      Like

  2. It’s difficult to find experienced people in this particular topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking
    about! Thanks

    Like

  3. Pingback: Our Easter Bunny is a Botanist | The Botanist in the Kitchen

  4. I may be missing something obvious here, but what is the organization of the angiosperms based on? It seems to me that an alphabetical organization would be more helpful in a list format such as this. Is the organization based on phylogenetic relationships?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s