Desfontainia was originally described by Ruiz and PAVON(1794)in the Linnaean group Pentandria monogynia. Humboldt and Bonpland (1808) left it in this group, but indicated that it should be placed in the Solanaceae. Many authors, e.g. Roemer and Schultes (1819), Reichenbach (1837), Spach (1840), Endlicher (1839, 1841), Gay (1849, 1858), and Dunal (1852), followed him in placing it in the last-named family but often with misgivings. D. Don (1831) placed Desfontainia in the Gentianaceae where it was accomodated by G. Don (1838) in a separate tribe. Meisner (1840) moved it to the Aquifoliaceae, but added a question mark.