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Anatomy and Ecology of Pieris phillyreifolia (Hook.) DC.

Paul C. Lemon and Jean M. Voegeli
Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club
Vol. 89, No. 5 (Sep. - Oct., 1962), pp. 303-311
Published by: Torrey Botanical Society
DOI: 10.2307/2482935
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2482935
Page Count: 9
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Anatomy and Ecology of Pieris phillyreifolia (Hook.) DC.
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Abstract

Pieris phillyreifolia, the only liana in the American Ericaceae, ascends trunks of Taxodium ascendens by creeping upwards tightly appressed within the bark. In addition to the liana form, P. phillyreifolia also grows on organic humps such as stumps, dead knees or fallen logs, within areas of standing water in swamps and bays of the southern coastal plain. While the fundamental anatomy is typical of the Ericaceae, the shoot apex is specialized into a knife-like wedge that is able to force its way upwards in the bark of T. ascendens. The stem is much flattened, developing lateral flanges of cortex. As it matures, ample production of xylem tends to make the stem more nearly cylindric. Clear-cut annual growth layers are not produced and the xylem is pronouncedly diffuse-porous. In addition to the main stem in Taxodium bark, branches come out into the air at intervals, producing normal photosynthetic leaves. Since the growth habit seems specifically suited to T. ascendens as a "substrate", and since the species is a liana in a family rarely producing climbers, it may be postulated that these adaptations in structure and tropisms are of recent origin.

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