The Gunnera gallery: Biogeography

Images and an introduction to the plant family Gunneraceae

Plant parts






The distribution of the subgenera of Gunnera reflects an ancient Gondwana distirbution. Gondwana is the ancient southern hemisphere continent that broke apart starting around 90 million years ago as Africa and South America rifted apart.


This was foillowed by the sparation of India, New Zealand (about 80 million years ago), Australia, and only much later the rifting of Anarctica and South America. The distribution of of Gunnera subspecies may be largely expliciable by reference to plate tectontics and the separation of Gondwana fragments, if the phylogeny inferred by Fuller and Hickey is accepted.

For discussion of an alternative hypothesis, see

Clearly further research is warranted!




Some literature