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Keywords:

  • Epidermis;
  • light microscopy;
  • ligule (veined);
  • Poaceae;
  • stomata

Summary

Fifty-six grass species, representing 18 tribes, were examined for the presence of both veined and membranous ligules in the same culm. This phenomenon was found in only nine species –Agrostis gigantea Roth., A. stolonifera L., Alopecurus pratensis L., Holcus lanatus L., H. mollis L., Phleum pratense L., Phalaris arundinacea L., Dactylis glomerata L. and Poa trivialis L. The abaxial epidermal anatomy of both ligule types is described for each species; the main differences noted were the presence of vascular tissue with associated chlorenchyma and stomata in the veined ligules. This heteroligulate condition is discussed in relation to possible functions of the grass ligule.