The Lecythidaceae comprise a family of about 20 genera and 250-300 species of woody plants native to tropical South America and Madagascar.
According to the most recent molecular analysis of Lecythidaceae (Mori, S. A., C.-C. Tsou, C.-C. Wu, B. Cronholm & A. Anderberg. 2007. Evolution of Lecythidaceae with an emphasis on the circumscription of Neotropical genera: information from combined ndhF and trnL-F sequence data. Amer. J. Bot. 94(3): 289-301) there are three subfamilies:
In the Mori et al. (2007) study, two other families sometimes included in Lecythidaceae, the Scytopetalaceae and Napoleonaeaceae are hypothesized as most closely related to Lecythidaceae.
More detailed information about Lecythidaceae, especially the New World taxa, can be found at the Lecythidaceae Pages
The most important member of the family in world trade is the Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa), valued for its edible nuts; the Paradise nut (Lecythis species) is also eaten.
The APG II system of 2003 includes genera from the family Scytopetalaceae in the Lecythidaceae, including Rhaptopetalum and Brazzeia.
List of genera
- Abdulmajidia Whitmore, also as Barringtoniaceae sensu Takhtajan 1997
- Allantoma Miers
- Asteranthos Desf., also as Asteranthaceae
- Barringtonia J.R.Forst. & G.Forst., also as Barringtoniaceae
- Bertholletia Bonpl.
- Careya Roxb., also as Barringtoniaceae
- Cariniana Casar.
- Chydenanthus Miers, also as Barringtoniaceae
- Corythophora R.Knuth
- Couratari Aubl.
- Couroupita Aubl.
- Crateranthus Baker f., incertae sedis according Takhtajan, perhaps Napoleonaeaceae
- Eschweilera Mart. ex DC.
- Foetidia Comm. ex Lam., also as Foetidiaceae
- Grias L.
- Gustavia L.
- Lecythis Loefl.
- Napoleonaea P.Beauv., also as Napoleonaeaceae
- Petersianthus Merr., also as Barringtoniaceae
- Planchonia Blume, also as Barringtoniaceae