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Development of the Epiphyllous Inflorescence of Helwingia japonica (Helwingiaceae)

Timothy A. Dickinson and Rolf Sattler
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 62, No. 9 (Oct., 1975), pp. 962-973
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2441641
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Development of the Epiphyllous Inflorescence of Helwingia japonica (Helwingiaceae)
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Abstract

The inflorescence of Helwingia japonica (Thunb.) Dietr. is initiated adjacent to the leaf axil on the adaxial side of the base of a leaf primordium during its second plastochron. The inflorescence which develops from the resulting primordium comes to be situated on the midrib of the mature fertile leaf, through the action of a basal, intercalary meristem. In fertile leaves this meristem develops beneath, as well as above, the insertion of the inflorescence primordium on the leaf primordium. The same meristem is present in sterile leaves as well. A separate, adaxial vascular bundle departs from the leaf trace in the base of the petiole and leads to the inflorescence, in the mature fertile leaf. This adaxial vascular bundle is absent in sterile leaves. It is argued that the vascular anatomy does not conclusively confirm the hypothesis that the epiphyllous inflorescence is the congenital fusion product of a leaf and an axillary inflorescence. Instead, it is suggested that the interplay of changes in the position of primordium initiation, and intercalary growth, offers an ontogenetic explanation of the situation, which in turn may be related to the phylogeny of the species in question. It appears to be misguided and futile to look for homologies (i e., 1:1 correspondences) between fertile and sterile leaves, since 1:1 correspondences do not exist in this case.

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