Modern Phytomorphology

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Floral anatomy of Delphinieae (Ranunculaceae): comparing flower organization and vascular patterns

Abstract

Andrew Novikoff, Florian Jabbour

Species of the tribe Delphinieae have dorsoventralized flowers; their pentamerous calyx and reduced corolla are dorsally spurred and inner spurs are nectariferous. Based on this common floral scheme, Delphinieae species exhibit a wide diversity of floral structures and morphologies. We present here the first investigation of the floral anatomy in Delphinieae. The organization of the floral vascular system has been studied in species representative of the floral morphological diversity of Delphinieae: Aconitum lasiocarpum, Delphinium elatum, and Consolida regalis. The three species show a similar vascularization of the calyx and of the reproductive organs, but exhibit distinct anatomical features in the corolla where the nectaries are borne. The sepals and the stamens have a trilacunar three-traced and a unilacunar one-traced vascularization, respectively. Three free carpels in D. elatum and A. lasiocarpum are basically supplied by six vascular bundles – three independent dorsal bundles and three fused lateral bundles. In C. regalis the single carpel is supplied by three independent vascular bundles (one dorsal and two ventral). Staminodes are not vascularized. The basic type of petal vascularization is unilacunar one-traced, but in the case of C. regalis the derived bilacunar two-traced type has been observed. This latter state arose as a result of the fusion of the two dorsal petal primordia. The results of this first comparative study of the floral anatomy of Delphinieae are discussed with the recent phylogenetic, morphological, and evo-devo findings concerning the tribe.

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