Botanical journal of the linnean society vol:144 issue:2 pages:161-179
The wood anatomical structure of 11 out of 13 genera from four tribes of the Vaccinioideae, namely Andromedeae s.s., Gaultherieae, Lyonieae and Oxydendreae (Ericaceae s.l.), is described using light and scanning electron microscopy. Several features of the secondary xylem support the tribal classification based on molecular data: arrangement of vessel-ray pitting, height of multiseriate rays and the shape of the body ray cells. Oxydendreae are clearly defined from the other representatives by various wood anatomical features. Gaultherieae can be distinguished from Lyonieae by differences in vessel perforation plates, vessel-ray pitting, height and structure of multiseriate rays, and occurrence of prismatic crystals, but the wood of Andromedeae s.s. is similar to Gaultherieae. Moreover, Andromedeae s.s., Oxydendreae and Vaccinieae are characterized by their pith structure, whereas considerable variation in the pith cells is found in Lyonieae and Gaultherieae. (C) 2004 The Linnean Society of London.