Plumbaginaceae is a family of flowering plants, with a cosmopolitan distribution. The family is sometimes referred to as the leadwort family or the plumbago family.

Plumbago europaea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Plumbaginaceae

See text

Plumbago auriculata, the Cape leadwort
Dyerophytum africanum in Vogelfederberg, Namibia

Most species in this family are perennial herbaceous plants, but a few grow as lianas or shrubs. The plants have perfect flowers and are pollinated by insects. They are found in many different climatic regions, from arctic to tropical conditions, but are particularly associated with salt-rich steppes, marshes, and sea coasts.

The family has been recognized by most taxonomists. The APG II system (2003; unchanged from the APG system of 1998), recognizes this family and assigns it to the order Caryophyllales in the clade core eudicots. It includes ca 30 genera and about 725 species.[2]

The 1981 Cronquist system placed the family in a separate order Plumbaginales, which included no other families. The Dahlgren system had segregated some of these plants as family Limoniaceae.


  • Acantholimon
  • Aegialitis
  • Afrolimon
  • Armeria, the thrifts or seapinks
  • Bamiana
  • Bukiniczia
  • Cephalorhizum
  • Ceratolimon
  • Ceratostigma, the leadworts
  • Chaetolimon
  • Dictyolimon
  • Dyerophytum
  • Eremolimon
  • Ghaznianthus
  • Goniolimon
  • Ikonnikovia
  • Limoniastrum
  • Limoniopsis
  • Limonium (syn. Statice), the sealavenders
  • Muellerolimon
  • Neogontscharovia
  • Plumbagella
  • Plumbago, the leadworts or plumbagos
  • Popoviolimon
  • Psylliostachys
  • Saharanthus
  • Vassilczenkoa

Cultivation and uses

Chalk glands are found in this family. The family includes a number of popular garden species, which are grown for their attractive flowers.


  1. Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
  2. Christenhusz, M. J. M.; Byng, J. W. (2016). "The number of known plants species in the world and its annual increase". Phytotaxa. 261 (3): 201–217. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.261.3.1.
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