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Morphology of female strobilus in podocarpus neriifolius

, : Morphology of female strobilus in podocarpus neriifolius. Phytomorphology 27(3): 215-224

The presence of a hypodermal fiber layer and the absence of sclereids in the peduncle indicate that it is homologous to a vegetative branch rather than to the cone-axis (receptacle) where the reverse situation exists. In the scaly bracts the presence of 2 stomatiferous bands on the abaxial side and of accessory transfusion tissue in a reduced form internally, suggest that these are reduced vegetative leaves. In the receptacle, the proximal 2/3 portion represents the fleshy cone-axis and the distal 1/3 part is contributed by the fused bases of the fleshy bracts. The histological characteristics of the epimatium are homologous to those of the strobilar axis (receptacle). The vascular bundles in the epimatium are never associated with any transfusion tissue throughout their course, indicating thereby their axial nature. The vascular bundles in all other modified or unmodified foliar structures (vegetative leaves, scaly bracts, fleshy bracts) are always associated with some transfusion tissue. The epimatium is, therefore, an axillary branch, exclusively axial in nature, flattened into a cladode, with the distal part folded over the ventral side of the ovule for the purpose of protection. The entire structure was indistinguishably fused with the integument of the ovule. [The systematic implications of these observations were discussed.].


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