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The bananas, gingers, and relatives.

W. John Kress and William J. Hahn
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taxon links [down<--]Monocotyledons Interpreting the tree
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This tree diagram shows the relationships between several groups of organisms.

The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.

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You can click on the root to travel down the Tree of Life all the way to the root of all Life, and you can click on the names of descendent subgroups to travel up the Tree of Life all the way to individual species.

For more information on ToL tree formatting, please see Interpreting the Tree or Classification. To learn more about phylogenetic trees, please visit our Phylogenetic Biology pages.

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This tree is based on the morphological and molecular analyses of Kress and collaborators.
Containing group: Monocotyledons


The gingers, bananas, and relatives form a clearly defined linage of monocots including 8 families, 88 genera, and approximately 2000 species.


Morphological synapomorphies for the clade include specialized isomorphic root hair cells, presence of silica bodies in cells, epigynous flowers, pollen grains without distinctive apertures and a reduced exine layer, nuclear endosperm development, and arillate seeds (Kress, 1990, 1995).

Notes about Terminal Taxa

The terminal taxa are as circumscribed by Kress (1990, 1995).

Other Names for Zingiberanae


Kress, WJ 1995. Phylogeny of the Zingiberanae: Morphology and molecules. pp 443-460 in: PJ Rudall, PJ Cribb, DF Cutler, CJ Humphries (eds) Monocotyledons: systematics and evolution. Royal BOtanic Gardens, Kew.

Kress, WJ 1990. The phylogeny and classification of the Zingiberales. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 77: 698-721.

Smith, JF, WJ Kress, and EA Zimmer. 1993. Phylogenetic analysis of the Zingiberales based on rbcL sequences. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 80: 620-630.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Heliconia
Copyright © 1997 W. John Kress and William J. Hahn
Scientific Name Zingiberaceae
Comments ginger
Copyright © 1997 W. John Kress and William J. Hahn
About This Page

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C., USA

Georgetown University, Washington, D. C., USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to W. John Kress at

All Rights Reserved.

Citing this page:

Kress, W. John and William J. Hahn. 1997. Zingiberanae. The bananas, gingers, and relatives.. Version 01 January 1997 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Zingiberanae/21339/1997.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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This page is a Tree of Life Branch Page.

Each ToL branch page provides a synopsis of the characteristics of a group of organisms representing a branch of the Tree of Life. The major distinction between a branch and a leaf of the Tree of Life is that each branch can be further subdivided into descendent branches, that is, subgroups representing distinct genetic lineages.

For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

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