The familial placement of Wightia has long been a problem. Here, we present a comprehensive phylogenetic inspection of Wightia based on noncoding chloroplast loci (the rps16 intron and the trnL–F region) and nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer, and on chemical analysis. A total of 70 samples (including 51 genera from 13 families of Lamiales) were employed in a molecular study. Phylograms suggest that Wightia is sister to Paulownia or Phrymaceae; species tree shows Wightia and Paulownia are sister groups which clustered with Phrymaceae in an unresolved clade. Chemical evidence shows affinity of Wightia to Paulowniaceae. With the addition of morphological, palynological and ecological characters, we suppose a familial position of Wightia belonging to or close to Paulowniaceae. Brandisia (a member of Orobanchaceae) does not have a close relationship with Wightia.
Plant Systematics and Evolution, 2014, Vol 300, Issue 9, p. 2009-2017