Engler and Prantl System of Classification


Engler and Prantl

Engler and Prantl  are names associated with a system published in 1886. Like Benthem and Hooker, he conceived the idea of providing the details of his taxonomic system. It is often claimed that this was the first of the phylogenetic systems. Engler and Prantl’s system is widely followed in Europe and in certain parts of the United States also. Many herbaria throughout the world  arranged their specimens according to the Engler and Prantl sequence. Engler looked upon the  monocots as a primitive group and put them first in the list. So this arrangement starts with monocot families. Engler's system is more important because it aims to arrange  the plants with an evolutionary bias. Speaking broadly the following differences are noticed between the systems of Engler and Prantl and that of Bentham and Hooker.
Engler and Prantl system of classification
  • In Engler and Prantl, dicotyledons are divided into Archichlamydeae and the sympetalae. The monochlamydous families  were amalgamated with the polypetalae to produce the Archichlamydeae. Sympetale corresponds to Bentham and Hooker’s Gamopetale.
  • Among the Archichlamydeae they placed the naked flowers and then passed on to those with sepaloid perianth.
  • Engler and Prantl’s system totally contained fourteen major divisions. The first thirteen divisions included the algae, fungi, bryophytes and the pteridophytes. The fourteenth division, viz, Embryophyta Sighonogama included both the Gymnosperms and the Angiosperms.
  • If the system is considered to be phylogenetic . It is to be understood that the monocots are more primitive than the dicots.
  • The monocots were divided into 11 orders in which the Palmae were elevated into on order.
  • Dicotyledonae were totally put in 44 orders; 33 in the Archichlamydeae and 11 in the Sympetalae. Curcurbitaceae is elevated to an order (Cucurbitales).
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