Family (Latin: familia, plural familiae) is one of the eight major hierarchical taxonomic ranks in Linnaean taxonomy; it is classified between order and genus. A family may be divided into subfamilies, which are intermediate ranks between the ranks of family and genus. The official family names are Latin in origin; however, popular names are often used: for example, walnut trees and hickory trees belong to the family Juglandaceae, but that family is commonly referred to as being the "walnut family".
What does or does not belong to a family—or whether a described family should be recognized at all—are proposed and determined by practicing taxonomists. There are no hard rules for describing or recognizing a family. Taxonomists often take different positions about descriptions, and there may be no broad consensus across the scientific community for some time. The publishing of new data and opinion often enables adjustments and consensus.
In zoological nomenclature, the family names of animals end with the suffix "-idae".
The taxonomic term familia was first used by French botanist Pierre Magnol in his Prodromus historiae generalis plantarum, in quo familiae plantarum per tabulas disponuntur (1689) where he called the seventy-six groups of plants he recognised in his tables families (familiae). The concept of rank at that time was not yet settled, and in the preface to the Prodromus Magnol spoke of uniting his families into larger genera, which is far from how the term is used today.
Carolus Linnaeus used the word familia in his Philosophia botanica (1751) to denote major groups of plants: trees, herbs, ferns, palms, and so on. He used this term only in the morphological section of the book, discussing the vegetative and generative organs of plants.
Subsequently, in French botanical publications, from Michel Adanson's Familles naturelles des plantes (1763) and until the end of the 19th century, the word famille was used as a French equivalent of the Latin ordo (or ordo naturalis).
In zoology, the family as a rank intermediate between order and genus was introduced by Pierre André Latreille in his Précis des caractères génériques des insectes, disposés dans un ordre naturel (1796). He used families (some of them were not named) in some but not in all his orders of "insects" (which then included all arthropods).
Pterocarpus santalinoides is a tree species in the legume family (biology) (Fabaceae); it is locally known as mututi.It has a remarkable bi-continental distribution, native to tropical western Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo) and also to South America (Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela).It grows to 9–12 m tall, with a trunk up to 1 m in diameter and flaky bark. The leaves are pinnate, 10–20 cm long, with 5–9 leaflets. The flowers are orange-yellow, produced in panicles. The fruit is a pod 3.5–6 cm long, with a wing extending three-quarters around the margin.
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