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Botanic Spice Index

This index allows to locate spices according to their botanical association. Systematic botany provides a hierarchical systems, where the different levels are named taxa; the highest taxon in this index is called division, which is a very large one as all spice plants belong to the same division seed plants (other divisions are, for example, Fungi, Mosses and Ferns). This is followed by class, order and family down to the species level. There are additional taxa, only those of which have been included that apply throughout (this means, there are no superorders nor subfamilies).

There are competing classification schemes; the one I am following here is given in the text book by Frohne and Jensen which is based both on botanical and chemical features of the plants.

Some minor spice plants which have no full spice article yet are also included, and their names link to very short descriptions in the geographical index.

Quick access to the subclasses:

Magnoliatae:    Magnoliidae Caryophyllidae Hamamelididae Rosidae Asteridae Dilleniidae Cornidae Lamiidae

Liliatae:    Liliidae Zingiberidae Commelinidae Arecidae

Since this index is valuable only for a reader familiar with systematic botany, I give only the most recent scientific name for each the plant. Synonyms for higher taxa are, however, included. Most browsers format multiply nested lists in a rather ugly way, but in order to stay standard-conforming, I have restrained from using special formatting tools.

The organization of the plant kingdom into different groups (taxa) with hierarchical interrelation is by no means a trivial or even just well defined task. The way it is done on this site is based on the Takhtajan system in the modifications proposed by Frohne and Jensen.

Any taxon is listed if and only if it contains at least one spice plant discussed here. The indentation levels of the different taxa and their total numbers are:


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Top     Magnoliatae (Magnoliidae Caryophyllidae Hamamelididae Rosidae Asteridae Dilleniidae Cornidae Lamiidae)     Liliatae (Liliidae Zingiberidae Commelinidae Arecidae)     Bottom