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The taxonomic significance of anatomical characters of the stem in the southern african species of canthium sensu lato rubiaceae






South African Journal of Botany 54(6): 585-595

The taxonomic significance of anatomical characters of the stem in the southern african species of canthium sensu lato rubiaceae

Fourteen species of Canthium s.l. reocrded in southern Africa were studied. In this paper the anatomy of the young stem is described and the taxonomic and diagnostic value of the characters discussed. Several anatomical features of the stem are useful in distinguishing between taxa. These include the structure of the hairs, the thickness of the cuticle, the shape of the epidermal cells, the initiation of the periderm and the structure of the phellem, the abundance and distribution pattern of a particular type of tanniniferous cell, the presence of subepidermal collenchyma, the relative abundance of two types of pericyclic fibres and the shape of the vascular cylinder and pith. On the basis of stem anatomy three distinct groups were recognized, corresponding with the recently proposed segregate genera, Canthium Lam. s.str. (in a southern African context), Psydrax Gaertn. and Keetia Phill. Anatomically all species show little infraspecific variation and most of the them could be distinguished from one another. [ The 14 spp. are the following; C. ciliatum, C. gilfillanii, C. inerme, C. mundianum, C. pauciflorum, C. setiflorum, C. spinosum, C. suberosum, C. vanwykii, P. fragrantissima, P. livida, P. locuples, p. obovata and K. gueinzii].

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Accession: 007939547



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