Wood anatomy of Crypteroniaceae sensu lato


  • This paper reports on part of the results of a postgraduate study, carried out under the supervision of Mr P. Baas.


The wood anatomy of Alzatea from South America, Axinandra, Crypteronia and Dactylocladus from South East Asia, and Rhynchocalyx from South Africa is described in detail. Special attention has been given to the ultrastructure of vestured pits in the five genera. The grouping of these genera into one family as suggested recently is not supported by wood anatomy. Alzatea andRhynchocalyx differ widely from the three other genera and appear to share many characters with both Lythraceae and Melastomataceae; the latter family shows a wide wood anatomical range. The wood anatomical affinities of Axinandra, Crypteronia and Dactylocladus are with Melastomataceae. Comparisons with some other Myrtalean families, notably Oliniaceae and Sonneratiaceae, indicate intimate relationships between Melastomataceae, Lythraceae, Oliniaceae, Sonneratiaceae and Crypteroniaceae s.l. because of overlapping of the wood anatomical range among these families.