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Extensive molecular phylogenetic analyses of the Sonchus alliance by Kim & al. (1996, 1997, 1999a,b, 2004, 2007) revealed that the genus Dendroseris, and, according to yet unpublished results (Kim, pers. comm., March 2007) also the monospecific genus Thamnoseris, both formerly included in a separate subtribe Dendroseridinae, are part of the Sonchinae and the Sonchus alliance in particular.

Recent molecular phylogenetic analyses by Gemeinholzer & al. (in Kilian & al. 2009; Kim & al. pers. comm., March 2007) revealed that also Aposeris (lacking a pappus) and Hyoseris (with an inner pappus of basally strongly widened bristles) have to be included in the Sonchinae. Blackmore (1981) stated that the palynological evidence is inconclusive for the placement of Hyoseris, reflecting a possible relationship to the Hypochaeris alliance as likely as to the Launaea-Reichardia-Sonchus alliance. Molecular analyses by Samuel & al. (2003) revealed that neither species is a member of the Hypochaeridinae. Aposeris is sister to all other genera of this subtribe, which are rather closely related to each other, while Hyoseris is sister to the clade including Launaea, Reichardia and the Sonchus alliance. Inclusion of Hyoseris required a change of name of the subtribe from Sonchinae to Hyoseridinae because of the priority rule.

The various species-poor genera, established within the Sonchus alliance for species of the Canary Islands (Chrysoprenanthes, Babcockia, Lactucosonchus, Sventenia, Taeckholmia, Wildpretia) and of Australia/New Zealand (Actites, Embergia, Kirkianella), were nested within Sonchus in all recent molecular phylogenetic analyses (Kim & al. 1996, 1997, 1999a, b, 2004, 2007). The same has been confirmed for the monospecific Mediterranean Aetheorhiza as well as for Dendroseris and Thamnoseris, endemic to the Pacific Juan Fernandez and Desventuradas Islands, respectively (Kim & al. 2007; S.-C. Kim, pers. comm., March 2007). The Canarian, Mediterranean and Australian/New Zealandean genera are morphologically questionably distinct from Sonchus and their inclusion in Sonchus seems therefore a justified consequence. The case may appear different with respect to Dendroseris (Carlquist 1966; Crawford & al. 1992; Sang & al. 1994) and Thamnoseris, which apparently have evolved from within Sonchus after long-distant dispersal to these Pacific island groups. They may be exemplary for the need to accept, whenever appropriate, also paraphyletic genera as long as we want taxonomy to reflect evolution (Brummitt 2002, 2008, Hörandl 2007). Mejías & Kim (2012), however, came, also after an extensive review of the literature on these genera, to the conclusion that Dendroseris and Thamnoseris should best be included in Sonchus and provided the corresponding nomenclatural combinations. The treatment here follows these authors.


Blackmore S. 1981: Palynology and intergeneric relationships in subtribe Hyoseridinae (Compositae: Lactuceae). – Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 82: 1-13.

Brummitt R. K. 2002: How to chop a tree. – Taxon 51: 31-41.

Brummitt R. K. 2008: Evolution in taxonomic perspective. – Taxon 57: 1049-1050.
Carlquist S. 1966: The biota of long-distance dispersal II. Loss of dispersibility in Pacific Compositae. – Evolution 20: 30-48.

Crawford D. J., Stuessy T. F., Haines D. W., Cosner M. B.,Silva O. M. & Lopez P. 1992: Evolution of the genus Dendroseris (Asteraceae: Lactuceae) on the Juan Fernandez Islands: evidence from chloroplast and ribosomal DNA. – Syst. Bot. 17: 676-682.

Hörandl E. 2007: Neglecting evolution is bad taxonomy. – Taxon 56: 1-5.

Kilian N., Gemeinholzer B. & Lack H. W. 2009: Tribe Cichorieae. – In: Funk V. A., Susanna A., Stuessy T. & Bayer R. (ed.), Systematics, evolution, and biogeography of the Compositae. – Vienna: IAPT.

Kim S.-C., Crawford D. J., Francisco-Ortega J. & Santos-Guerra A. 1996: A common origin for woody Sonchus and five related genera in the Macaronesian islands: molecular evidence for extensive radiation. – Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. US 93: 7743-7748.

Kim S.-C., Crawford D. J. & Jansen R. K. 1997: Phylogenetic relationships among the genera of the subtribe Sonchinae (Asteraceae): evidence from ITS sequences. – Syst. Bot. 21: 417-432.

Kim S.-C., Crawford D. J., Francisco-Ortega J. & Santos-Guerra A. 1999a: Adaptive radiation and genetic differentiation in the woody Sonchus alliance (Asteraceae: Sonchinae) in the Canary Islands. – Pl. Syst. Evol. 215: 101-118.

Kim S.-C., Crawford D. J., Jansen R. K. & Santos-Guerra A. 1999b: The use of a non-coding region of chloroplast DNA in phylogenetic studies of the subtribe Sonchinae (Asteraceae: Lactuceae). – Pl. Syst. Evol. 215: 85-99.

Kim S.-C., Lu C. T. & Lepschi B. J. 2004: Phylogenetic positions of Actites megalocarpa and Sonchus hydrophilus (Sonchinae: Asteraceae) based on ITS and chloroplast non-coding DNA sequences. – Austral. Syst. Bot. 17: 73-81.

Kim S.-C., Lee C. & Mejías J. A. 2007: Phylogenetic analysis of chloroplast DNA matK gene and ITS of nrDNA sequences reveals polyphyly of the genus Sonchus and new relationships among the subtribe Sonchinae (Asteraceae: Cichorieae). – Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 44: 578-597.

Mejias J. A. & Kim S.-C. 2012: Taxonomic treatment of Cichorieae (Asteraceae) endemic to the Juan Fernandez and Desventuradas Islands (SE Pacific). – Ann. Bot. Fenn. 49: 171–178.

Samuel R., Stuessy T. F., Tremetsberger K., Baeza C. M. & Siljak Yakovlev S. 2003: Phylogenetic relationships among species of Hypochaeris (Asteraceae, Cichorieae) based on ITS, plastid trnL intron, trnL-F spacer, and matK sequences. – Amer. J. Bot. 90: 496-507.

Sang T., Crawford D. J., Kim S.-C. & Stuessy T. F. 1994: Radiation of the endemic genus Dendroseris (Asteraceae) on the Juan Fernandez Islands: evidence from sequences of the ITS regions of nuclear ribosomal DNA. – Amer. J. Bot. 81: 1494-1501.


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(Andaman Is. native); Assam (Assam native, Manipur native, Meghalaya native); Bangladesh native; Borneo (Sabah introduced); East Himalaya (Bhutan native, Sikkim native); India introduced (Bihar native, Chattisgarh native, Haryana native, Karnataka native, Kerala native, Madhya Pradesh native, Maharashtra native, Orissa native, Punjab native, Rajasthan native, Tamil Nadu native, Uttar Pradesh native, West Bengal native); Jawa native; Laos native; Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia native); Maldives native; Myanmar native; Nepal native; New Guinea reported in error (Irian Jaya introduced, Papua New Guinea introduced); Pakistan nativenative; Philippines native; Sri Lanka native; Sumatera native; Thailand native; Vietnam native; West Himalaya (Himachal Pradesh native, Jammu-Kashmir native) Australasia: Antipodean Is. introduced; Chatham Is. native; Kermadec Is. introduced; New South Wales (Australian Capital Territory native, New South Wales native); New Zealand North native; New Zealand South native; Northern Territory introduced; Queensland (Queensland native); South Australia native; Tasmania native; Victoria native; Western Australia (Ashmore-Cartier Is. introduced, Western Australia native) Europe: Albania native; Austria native (Austria native, Liechtenstein native); Baleares native; Baltic States (Estonia native, Kaliningrad native, Latvia native, Lithuania native); Belarus native; Belgium native (Belgium native, Luxembourg native); Bulgaria native; Central European Russia native; Corse native; Czechoslovakia native (Czech Republic native, Slovakia native); Denmark native; East European Russia native; Finland native; France native (France native); Føroyar native; Germany native; Great Britain native; Greece native; Hungary native; Iceland introduced; Ireland native (Ireland native, Northern Ireland native); Italy native; Kriti native; Krym native; Netherlands native; North European Russia native; Northwest European Russia native; Norway native; Poland native; Portugal native; Romania native; Sardegna native; Sicily native (Malta native, Sicily native); South European Russia native; Spain native (Andorra native, Gibraltar native, Spain native); Sweden native; Switzerland native; Turkey-in-Europe native; Ukraine (Moldova native, Ukraine native); Yugoslavia (Bosnia-Herzegovina native, Croatia native, Macedonia native, Montenegro native, Serbia native, Slovenia native) Northern America: Alabama introduced; Alaska introduced; Alberta introduced; Arizona introduced; Arkansas introduced; British Columbia introduced; California introduced; Colorado introduced; Connecticut introduced; Delaware introduced; District of Columbia introduced; Florida introduced; Georgia, U.S.A. introduced; Greenland introduced; Idaho introduced; Illinois introduced; Indiana introduced; Iowa introduced; Kansas introduced; Kentucky introduced; Labrador introduced; Louisiana introduced; Maine introduced; Manitoba introduced; Maryland introduced; Massachusetts introduced; Mexican Pacific Is. 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Kim S.-C. 2009: Systematic (data).