Convergent elaboration of apocarpous gynoecia in higher advanced dicotyledons (Sapindales, Malvales, Gentianales)



The apocarpous gynoecia of three separate groups of higher advanced dicotyledons show postgenital fusion of their apical parts. In this fused region the pollen tube transmitting tissue of the carpels is united into a compitum, which provides advantages of a syncarpous to the apocarpous gynoecium. It is supposed that in at least some of these groups the general evolutionary trend of the angiosperms from apocarpy towards syncarpy is reversed.