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Comparative floral structure and systematics in Crossosomatales (Crossosomataceae, Stachyuraceae, Staphyleaceae, Aphloiaceae, Geissolomataceae, Ixerbaceae, Strasburgeriaceae)




Floral structure of all putative families of Crossosomatales as suggested by molecular studies was comparatively studied. The seven comprise Crossosomataceae, Stachyuraceae, Staphyleaceae, Aphloiaceae, Geissolomataceae, Ixerbaceae, and Strasburgeriaceae. The entire clade (1) is highly supported by floral structure, also the clades (in sequence of diminishing structural support): Ixerbaceae/Strasburgeriaceae (2), Geissolomataceae/Ixerbaceae/Strasburgeriaceae (3), Aphloiaceae/Geissolomataceae/Ixerbaceae/Strasburgeriaceae (4), and Crossosomataceae/Stachyuraceae/Staphyleaceae (5). Among the prominent floral features of Crossosomatales (1) are solitary flowers, presence of a floral cup, imbricate sepals with outermost smaller than inner, pollen grains with horizontally extended endoapertures, shortly stalked gynoecium, postgenitally united carpel tips forming a compitum, stigmatic papillae two- or more-cellular, ovary locules tapering upwards, long integuments forming zigzag micropyles, cell clusters with bundles of long yellow crystals, mucilage cells, seeds with smooth, sclerified testa and without a differentiated tegmen. Clade (2) is characterized by large flowers, petals forming a tight, pointed cone in bud, stamens with long, stout filaments and sagittate anthers, streamlined, conical gynoecium, antitropous ovules, rudimentary aril, lignified, unicellular, T-shaped hairs and idioblasts with striate mucilaginous cell walls. Clade (3) is characterized by alternisepalous carpels, punctiform stigma formed by postgenitally united and twisted carpel tips, synascidiate ovary, only one or two pendant ovules per carpel, nectary recesses between androecium and gynoecium. Clade (4) is characterized by pronounced ‘pollen buds’. Clade (5) is characterized by polygamous or functionally unisexual flowers, x-shaped anthers, free and follicular carpels (not in Stachyuraceae). Crossosomataceae and Aphloiaceae, although not retrieved as a clade in molecular studies, share several special floral features: polystemonous androecium; basifixed anthers without a connective protrusion; stigma with two more or less decurrent crests; camplyotropous ovules and reniform seeds; simple, disc-shaped nectaries and absence of hairs. © 2005 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2005, 147, 1–46.