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Inflorescence and floral development in Trochodendron aralioides (Trochodendraceae)

Hsu, Yu-Chwen, Jane, Wann-Neng, Chen, Su-Hwa
Plant systematics and evolution 2017 v.303 no.3 pp. 403-412
Buxales, Trochodendron aralioides, bracts, carpels, early development, flowering, perianth, phyllotaxy, stamens, stigma, trees
In the early development of Trochodendron aralioides (Trochodendraceae) inflorescences lateral flowers are initiated after the appearance of the floral pherophylls (subtending bracts). The terminal flower is preceded by metaxyphylls and is initiated earlier than the uppermost lateral flowers of the botryoid inflorescence. Small scales (interpreted as rudimentary perianth organs) precede the stamens. These scales are more distinct in the terminal flower than in the lateral flowers. In the radially symmetrical terminal flower, small scales (or metaxyphylls) and stamens are initiated in a spiral during early development. At anthesis, stamen phyllotaxis appears irregular or approximately whorled as a result of the rapid elongation and irregular slight curvature of the stamen filaments which distorts the originally regular pattern. Finally, the numerous carpels arise simultaneously in a single whorl. It takes about 9 months for flowers to develop and the 2-year reproductive cycle of T. aralioides is typical of many trees. The floral development of T. aralioides is compared with that of other basal eudicots. The bottle-shaped, unicellular stigmatic papillae and long, decurrent stigma of basally united carpels are similar to those of the Buxales¸ suggesting a close relationship.