Plant systematics and evolution vol:178 issue:3-4 pages:179-194
The mature flower of Harungana madagascariensis (CHOISY) POIR. has an androecium of five antipetalous fascicles, consisting of four stamens each. The stamen fascicles alternate with five indented nectary scales. A SEM-study of the floral development, as well as a study of the floral anatomy was carried out to understand whether the nectariferous scales represent staminodia or are receptacular in nature and consequently whether or not the androecium of Harungana, and the Clusiaceae in general, is originally diplostemonous. The five petals originate by the splitting of petal-stamen complexes. Next the upper part of each complex differentiates basipetally in four stamens. The stamens remain fascicled and are lifted on a long stalk at maturity. Five carpel primordia are initiated united in a low ringwall. The five nectary scales appear after carpel inception and develop an external morphology reminiscent of anthers. The floral anatomy reveals an independent origin of sepal median traces and common sepal lateral traces, free petal traces, stamen fascicle traces and alternating vascular tissue which supplies the nectaries. The petal-stamen complexes are the result of a retardation in petal inception, linked with the absorption of petal tissue into the stamen primordia. The development of the stamen fascicles is discussed; it is suggested that they are of a secondary nature and do not appear as a reduction from a multistaminate androecium. The external morphology and vascular anatomy of the scales speaks in favour of a staminodial nature. The comparison with some other species of the Clusiaceae gives evidence of a diplostemonous ancestry of the androecium.