Angiosperm Phylogeny Group

Collaborative research group for the classification of flowering plants

As of 2016, four incremental versions of a classification system have resulted from this collaboration, published in 1998, 2003, 2009 and 2016. An important motivation for the group was what they considered deficiencies in prior angiosperm classifications since they were not based on monophyletic groups (i.e., groups that include all the descendants of a common ancestor).

APG publications are increasingly influential, with a number of major herbaria changing the arrangement of their collections to match the latest APG system.

A classification presents a view at a particular point in time, based on a particular state of research. Independent researchers, including members of the APG, continue to publish their own views on areas of angiosperm taxonomy. Classifications change, however inconvenient this is to users. However, the APG publications are increasingly regarded as an authoritative point of reference and the following are some examples of the influence of the APG system:

APG II continued and indeed extends the use of alternative 'bracketed' taxa allowing the choice of either a large family or a number of smaller ones. For example, the large family Asparagaceae includes seven 'bracketed' families which can either be considered as part of the Asparagaceae or as separate families. Some of the main changes in APG II were: