I’ve created this page just because its the sort of ‘anorak’ information that appeals to me. I think it’s fascinating to know which plants are related to which. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes quite the opposite. follow the links and see where you end up. I’ve only included those sections that relate to what we grow, along with a few other common plants for interest.  As this page is intended to be of general interest and has no pretensions to scientific rigour, it will probably make a taxonomist wince. The general layout is along classical taxonomic lines, but within that I have arranged the entries along cladistic groupings to give an indication of those plants that are most closely related. For those who don’t know, all organisms that belong to a clade are considered to have evolved from a common ancestor. with clades building up in a hierarchical tree. So if we took ourselves, we belong to a clade with all the other hominids, which itself is in a clade containing all the apes, which is in a clade that contains all the mammals and so on until you encompass all animals. Browse on and see where you end up.

Kingdom – Plantae

This is the place to find all of the Plants.

The classical taxonomic rankings go Kingdom, Phyllum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species. I am going split this at the class level, organising this further along cladistic lines.

Phyllum – Tracheophyta

This contains all of the vascular plants – those with lignified water transport structures. It comprises most of them as far as we are interested. It is where we will start our classification. All of the plants we are interested in are contained in the the largest (by miles) grouping, the Euphyllopta, which itself splits two ways in to the ferns and the seed bearing plants.

Monilophytes – The Ferns

Class – Polypodiopsida

Order – Polypodiales

Polypodium cambricum 'Oakleyae' form 2

Family – Aspleniaceae

Asplenium scolopendrium (Hart's Tongue Fern)

Family – Athyriaceae

Athyrium otophorum 'Okanum'

Family – Blechnaceae

Blechnum chilense


  • Blechnaceae

  • Woodwardia

Family – Cystopteridaceae

Gymnocarpium dryopteris (Oak Fern)

Family – Dennstaedtiaceae


  • Pteridium (Bracken)

Family – Dryopteridaceae

Dryopteris affinis 'Cristata' ('The King')


Family – Onocleaceae

Onoclea sensibilis


Family – Osmundaceae

Osmunda regalis - royal fern


  • Osmunda

Family – Polypodiaceae

Polypodium vulgare

Family – Pteridiaceae

Adiantum venustum


  • Adiantum

Spermatophytes – The Seed Bearing Plants

Our next divisions happen here, where the seed bearing plants split into the Gymnopseperms – the Conifers, and the Angiosperms – the Flowering Plants. We are just going to follow the flowering plants, which themselves split into a major and minor grouping. The minor grouping (Basal Angiosperms) only contains a liitle over 100 species, notably the Waterlilies and Star Anise, with the larger grouping (Core Angiosperms – Mesangiospermae) containing all of the rest of the flowering plants.

( Angiospermae – flowering plants )

Mesangiospermae – core Angiosperms

The three divisions here represent the Monocots and the two divisions of the Dicots. The Eudicots represent the majority of the Dicots, with the smaller Magnoliids containing the smaller, more ‘primitive’ branch.

The Monocots

Class – Liliopsida

Often referred to as the Monocots because the seed contains only one cotyledon (seed leaf). They tend to have parallel veins in the leaves. The flowers tend to have parts arranged in 3’s, only rarely 4’s and almost never 5’s. About 60,000 species including most of the common bulbous plants and the grasses

The Alismatid Monocots

The Lillioid Monocots

Family – Alstroemeriaceae

Alstoemeria 'Saturne' (Planet Series)

Family – Colchicaceae

Colchicum 'Waterlily'