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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Zygophyllales

Familia: Zygophyllaceae
Subfamilia: Zygophylloideae
Genus: Tetraena
Species: T. aegyptia – T. alba – T. applanata – T. boulosii – T. bucharica – T. chrysopteros – T. clavata – T. coccinea – T. cornuta – T. cylindrifolia – T. decumbens – T. dumosa – T. fontanesii – T. gaetula – T. geslinii – T. giessii – T. hamiensis – T. longicapsularis – T. longistipulata – T. madagascariensis – T. madecassa – T. microcarpa – T. migahidii – T. migiurtinorum – T. mongolica – T. prismatica – T. prismatocarpa – T. pterocaulis – T. retrofracta – T. rigida – T. simplex – T. somalensis – T. smithii – T. stapfii – T. tenuis

Tetraena Maxim., Enum. Pl. Mongolia: 129. (1889) nom. cons.

Type species: Tetraena mongolica Maxim., Enum. Pl. Mongol. 129. (1889)

Note: Govaerts et al. (2020) subsume this genus into an expanded Zygophyllum L. (1753), but WS maintains a conservative view, as not all other authorities accept this.
Primary references

Maximowicz, C.J. 1889. Enumeratio Plantarum hucusque in Mongolia 129.

Additional references

Beier, B.-A., Chase, M.W. & Thulin, M. 2003. Phylogenetic relationships and taxonomy of subfamily Zygophylloideae (Zygophyllaceae) based on molecular and morphological data. Plant Systematics and Evolution 240(1–4): 11–39. DOI: 10.1007/s00606-003-0007-0 Reference page.


Hassler, M. 2020. Tetraena. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2020. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Mar 3. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Tetraena in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 Mar 3. Reference page. (as Zygophyllum)
International Plant Names Index. 2020. Tetraena. Published online. Accessed: Nov. 15 2020.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Tetraena in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 09-Oct-10.

Tetraena is a genus of flowering plants in the family Zygophyllaceae.[1]


Species of Tetraena are shrubby or herbaceous, the tallest being around 1.5 m (4.9 ft). The leaves are opposite, or sometimes borne on short shoots and then appearing to be alternate. They may or may not have stalks (petioles). The flower usually has five petals and five sepals, rarely four, and ten stamens. The flower is usually tube-like in appearance with white to pale orange petals. The ovary has three to five chambers (locules). The ripe fruit is variable in shape, splitting into parts before releasing the seeds.[2]

The genus Tetraena was erected by Karl Maximovich in 1889 for the species Tetraena mongolica. Until 2003, this was the only species recognized in the genus. Molecular phylogenetic studies suggested that the genus Zygophyllum was not monophyletic, since Tetraena and some other genera were nested within it. To create monophyletic genera, Björn-Axel Beier and Mats Thulin transferred about 40 species of Zygophyllum to Tetraena, creating a much expanded genus[2], though IPNI still treats it as a synonym of Zygophyllum[1].

As of January 2018, Plants of the World Online accepted the following species:[1]

Tetraena aegyptia (Hosny) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena alba (L.f.) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena applanata (Van Zyl) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena bucharica (B.Fedtsch.) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena chrysopteros (Retief) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena clavata (Schltr. & Diels) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena coccinea (L.) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena cornuta (Coss.) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena cylindrifolia (Schinz) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena decumbens (Delile) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena dumosa (Boiss.) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena fontanesii (Webb & Berthel.) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena gaetula (Emb. & Maire) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena geslinii (Coss.) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena giessii (Merxm. & A.Schreib.) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena hamiensis (Schweinf.) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena longicapsularis (Schinz) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena longistipulata (Schinz) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena madagascariensis (Baill.) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena madecassa (H.Perrier) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena mandavillei (Hadidi) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena microcarpa (Licht. ex Cham.) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena migiurtinorum (Chiov.) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena mongolica Maxim.
Tetraena prismatica (Chiov.) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena prismatocarpa (Sond.) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena propinqua (Decne.) Ghaz. & Osborne
Tetraena pterocaulis (Van Zyl) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena qatarensis (Hadidi) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena retrofracta (Thunb.) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena rigida (Schinz) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena simplex (L.) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena somalensis (Hadidi) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena stapfii (Schinz) Beier & Thulin
Tetraena tenuis (R.Glover) Beier & Thulin


Tetraena is native from the Canary Islands in the west and South Africa in the south to China in the east.[2]

"Tetraena Maxim.", Plants of the World Online, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2018-01-25
Beier, B.-A.; Chase, M. W. & Thulin, M. (2003), "Phylogenetic relationships and taxonomy of subfamily Zygophylloideae (Zygophyllaceae) based on molecular and morphological data", Plant Systematics and Evolution, 240 (1–4): 11–39, doi:10.1007/s00606-003-0007-0, S2CID 9299742

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