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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Liliales

Familia: Melanthiaceae
Tribus: ChionographideaeHeloniadeaeMelanthieaeParideaeXerophylleae
Genera (17): AmianthiumAnticleaChamaeliriumChionographisHeloniasHeloniopsisMelanthiumParisPseudotrilliumSchoenocaulonStenanthiumToxicoscordionTrilliumVeratrumXerophyllumYpsilandraZigadenus


Melanthiaceae Batsch ex Borkh., Bot. Wörterb. 2: 8. (1797), nom. cons.

Type genus: Melanthium L., Sp. Pl. 1: 339. (1753) nom. rej. prop. against Veratrum L., Sp. Pl. 2: 1044. (1753).


Chionographidaceae Takht., Bot. Zhurn. (Moscow & Leningrad) 81(2): 85. 1966
Heloniadaceae J.Agardh, Theoria Syst. Pl.: 4. Apr-Sep. 1858
Paridaceae Dumort., Fl. Belg.: 131. 1827
Trilliaceae Chevall., Fl. Gén. Env. Paris 2: 297. 1827, nom. cons.
Veratraceae Salisb., Trans. Linn. Soc. London 8: 10. 1807.
Xerophyllaceae Takht., Bot. Zhurn. (Moscow & Leningrad) 81 (2): 86. 1996.

Primary references

Borkhausen, M.B. 1797. Botanisches Wörterbuch 2: 8.

Additional references

Kim, S.C., Kim, J.S., Chase, M.W., Fay, M.F. & Kim, J.H. 2016. Molecular phylogenetic relationships of Melanthiaceae (Liliales) based on plastid DNA sequences. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 181(4): 567-584. DOI: 10.1111/boj.12405 Open access Reference page.
Zomlefer, W.B., Judd, W.S. & Gandhi, K.N. 2010. Proposal to conserve the name Veratrum against Melanthium (Melanthiaceae). Taxon 59(2): 644–645.
Tamura, M.N. 1998. Melanthiaceae. In: Flowering Plants. Monocotyledons: Lilianae (excluding Orchidaceae): 369-380.
Tamura, M.N. 1998. Trilliaceae. In: Flowering Plants. Monocotyledons: Lilianae (excluding Orchidaceae): 444-452.
Zomlefer, W.B., Williams, N.H., Whitten, W.M. & Judd, W.S. 2001. Generic circumscription and relationships in the tribe Melanthieae (Liliales, Melanthiaceae), with emphasis on Zigadenus: evidence from ITS and trnL-F sequence data. American Journal of Botany 88(9): 1657–1669.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Melanthiaceae in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2020 May 17. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2013. Melanthiaceae. Published online. Accessed: 16 Sept. 2013. 2013. Melanthiaceae. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 16 Sept. 2013.
GRIN Taxonomy for Plants
Stevens, P.F. 2001 onwards. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 14, July 2017 [and more or less continuously updated since]. Online. Reference page.

Vernacular names
asturianu: Melanthiacees
azərbaycanca: Melantkimilər
català: Melantiàcia
čeština: Kýchavicovité
dansk: Giftlilje-familien
Deutsch: Germergewächse
English: Bunch flower family
Esperanto: Melantiacoj
español: Melanthiáceas
suomi: Karhunruohokasvit
français: Mélanthiacées
hornjoserbsce: Kichawowe rostliny
magyar: Zászpafélék
日本語: メランチウム科
перем коми: Мелантиум котыр
한국어: 멜란티움과
kurdî: Famîleya leylankên axûdar
коми: Мелантиум котыр
lietuvių: Melantiniai
Nederlands: Eenbesfamilie
norsk: Giftliljefamilien
polski: Melantkowate
русский: Мелантиевые
slovenčina: Kýchavicovité
svenska: Nysrotsväxter
українська: Мелантієві
Tiếng Việt: Họ Hắc dược hoa
中文: 黑药花科

Melanthiaceae, also called the bunchflower family,[2][3] is a family of flowering herbaceous perennial plants native to the Northern Hemisphere.[4] Along with many other lilioid monocots, early authors considered members of this family to belong to the family Liliaceae, in part because both their sepals and petals closely resemble each other and are often large and showy like those of lilies,[4] while some more recent taxonomists have placed them in a family Trilliaceae. The most authoritative modern treatment, however, the APG III system of 2009 (unchanged from the 2003 APG II system and the 1998 APG system), places the family in the order Liliales, in the clade monocots. Circumscribed in this way, the family includes up to 17 genera.

Familiar members of the family include the genera Paris and Trillium.
Birth defects in sheep grazing on Veratrum californicum provided key insights into developmental biology in the 20th century
Trilliums (here Trillium cernuum) are fairly common woodland spring ephemerals in temperate North America and Asia
Genera and species

As of August 2013, the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families accepted 17 genera in the family.[5] They have been divided into five tribes. It has a total of ca 173 known species.[6] Generic assignments within the tribe Melanthieae in particular have been changed radically as a result of molecular phylogenetic studies in the 21st century.[4] Some taxonomists have combined the three genera of Heloniadae into one genus (Helonias).[7]


Helonias L.
Heloniopsis A.Gray
Ypsilandra Franch.


Chamaelirium Willd.
Chionographis Maxim.


Amianthium A.Gray
Anticlea Kunth
Melanthium J.Clayton ex L.
Schoenocaulon A.Gray
Stenanthium (A.Gray) Kunth
Toxicoscordion Rydb.
Veratrum L.
Zigadenus Michx.


Xerophyllum Michx.


Paris L. (including Daiswa and Kinugasa)
Pseudotrillium S.B.Farmer
Trillium L. (including Trillidium)


Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x.
"Family: Melanthiaceae (Bunchflower family): Go Botany".
"Melanthiaceae: Bunchflower Family. Identify plants and flowers".
Zomlefer, WB; NH Williams; WM Whitten; WS Judd (2001). "Generic circumscriptions and relationships in the tribe Melanthieae (Liliales, Melanthiaceae), with emphasis on Zigadenus: Evidence from ITS and TRNL-F sequence date". American Journal of Botany. Botanical Society of America. 88 (9): 1657–1669. doi:10.2307/3558411. JSTOR 3558411. PMID 21669700.
Search for "Melanthiaceae", "World Checklist of Selected Plant Families". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
Christenhusz, M. J. M. & Byng, J. W. (2016). "The number of known plants species in the world and its annual increase". Phytotaxa. Magnolia Press. 261 (3): 201–217. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.261.3.1.
Tanaka, N. (1998). "Phylogenetic and Taxonomic Studies on Helonias, Ypsilandra and Heloniopsis III. Taxonomic Revision". Journal of Japanese Botany. 73 (2): 102–115. Retrieved 2019-04-04.

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