Original Article

Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 280, Issue 1, pp 1-13

First online:

Evidence from fruit structure supports in general the circumscription of Apiaceae subfamily Azorelloideae

  • Mei LiuAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Harbin Normal University Email author 
  • , B.-E. Van WykAffiliated withDepartment of Botany and Plant Biotechnology, University of Johannesburg
  • , P. M. TilneyAffiliated withDepartment of Botany and Plant Biotechnology, University of Johannesburg
  • , G. M. PlunkettAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth UniversityNew York Botanical Garden, 200th St. & Kazimiroff Blvd.
  • , P. P. LowryIIAffiliated withMissouri Botanical GardenDépartement Systématique et Evolution (USM 602), Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle

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The fruit anatomy of 51 species of Apiaceae, representing all 23 genera of the traditional tribe Mulineae (now recognized as Apiaceae subfamily Azorelloideae) and their putative relatives, was studied in detail. Most genera (Asteriscium, Azorella, Bolax, Bowlesia, Dichosciadium, Dickinsia, Diplaspis, Diposis, Domeykoa, Drusa, Eremocharis, Gymnophyton, Hermas, Homalocarpus, Huanaca, Laretia, Mulinum, Oschatzia, Pozoa, Schizeilema and Spananthe) have a combination of woody endocarps with the innermost layer of fibers arranged longitudinally and fruits that are either isodiametric or dorsally compressed (never laterally compressed), with lateral ribs or wings that are usually larger than all other ribs or wings. This combination of anatomical characters is unique to most of subfamily Azorelloideae. Choritaenia, and Klotzschia, however, lack prominent lateral ribs or wings, and also differ in other anatomical features, suggesting the exclusion of these taxa from the Azorelloideae. Carpological characters were found to be helpful in refining the circumscription of the subfamily.


Apiaceae Umbelliferae Apiales Azorelloideae Carpology Fruit anatomy Phylogeny