Theligonum cynocrambe: Developmental morphology of a peculiar rubiaceous herb
Rutishauser, R × Ronse Decraene, LP Smets, Eric Mendoza-Heuer, I #
Plant systematics and evolution vol:210 issue:1-2 pages:1-24
The annual Mediterranean herb Theligonum cynocrambe shows a peculiar combination of morphological characters, e.g., switch from decussate to spiral phyllotaxis with 90-100 degrees divergence, combined with a change from interpetiolar to lateral stipules, anemophily, lack of calyx, flowers often dimerous to trimerous, corolla fused in both male and female flowers, male flowers extra-axillary, with 2-19 stamens per flower, female flowers axillary, with inferior uniovulate ovary, basilateral style and perianth, nut-like fruits with elaiosome. In male flowers the androecium emerges as an (uneven) elliptical rim with a central depression. This common girdling primordium is divided up into several stamen primordia. In male flowers with low stamen number the stamen primordia may occupy the corners alternating with the corolla lobes. There are no epipetalous androecial primordia that secondarily divide into stamens. Male flowers occasionally show a hemispherical base that may be interpreted as remnant of the inferior ovary. In female flowers a ring primordium grows into a tube on which the petal lobes arise. The perianth and style become displaced adaxially by uneven growth of the inferior ovary. The ovary is basically bilocular. The lower region of the ovary is provided with a septum that is overtopped and hidden by the single curved ovule. Theligonum is referred to the Rubiaceae-Rubioideae, with the Anthospermeae and Paederieae as most closely related tribes.