Morphology of the gynoecium and systematic position of the Ochnaceae



The gynoecium is syncarpous in all Ochnaceae. In the Ochnoideae carpels are peltate with a conventional cross-zone bearing one ovule, or, in Lophira, a very broad cross-zone with an horizontal ovular row. In Ochna and Brackenridgea, the style is gynobasic, each carpel develops transmitting tissue on its morphologically dorsal surface, and this tissue lines a canal or originates a solid inner strand in each carpel at style level. The style is tubular, with an inner cuticle, and compound, each component with its own transmitting tissue. In Ouratea the style is solid with a single compound transmitting strand. In Lophira and Elvasia the transmitting tissue seems to be developed by the morphologically ventral carpellary surfaces. Ovules are unitegmic with a bivalent integument.

In the Sauvagesioideae carpels are peltate, but with ovules above the cross-zones, on margins of the symplicate zone. In Euthemis, there is one ovule on each side of, and close to, each cross-zone. The single stylar canal is bounded by the morphologically dorsal carpellary surfaces. In Sauvagesia ovules occur on both sides of the cross-zones but most of them are above on carpel margins, as are all ovules of Cespedesia. The stylar canal of Sauvagesia is bounded by the ventral carpel surfaces, three strips of the outer surface passing inside at the sutures and developing into transmitting tissue. The stylar canal of Cespedesia is bounded by the dorsal carpel surfaces. The gynoecium of Wallacea has two epeltate carpels with a laminar placentation, the carpel margins being displaced on to the topographically ventral carpel surfaces with a row of ovules along each margin. Ovules are bitegmic.

The Ochnoideae, which shows relationships with the Rutaceae, Meliaceae, Simaroubaceae and Hippocastanaceae, is more advanced than the Sauvagesioideae, which clearly belongs in the Violales. The Ochnaceae is to be placed in the Violales.