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Encyclopedia > Dioscoreales
Dioscoreales
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Dioscoreales
Families

Burmanniaceae
Dioscoreaceae
Nartheciaceae

An order of monocots formerly grouped with the Liliales. The best known species is the Yam (Dioscorea). The order includes three families.


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Dioscoreales (528 words)
The Dioscoreales are primarily a tropical group, with a few species in Europe and temperate America.
The Dioscoreales are among those basal monocot groups which do not fit the textbook description of a monocot.
For this reason, the Dioscoreales have at times been considered the most "primitive" of monocots, but although they may retain many characters found in early monocots, they now appear to be more closely related to the Liliales.
Liliales (707 words)
However, since the group has been redefined to exclude the Asparagales, Dioscoreales, and Iridales, a position which is supported by both molecular and morphological evidence, the Liliales is now a rather small group, with about 1200 species.
The Asparagales and Dioscoreales have been lumped into the Liliaceae since approximately the beginning of this century.
In any case, it is quite likely that the group existed in some form by the Late Cretaceous, as it is believed to be one of the most "primitive" groups of monocots, that s, its appearance and ancestry indicate an early separation from other monocots.
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