, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 396-417

First online:

A morphological cladistic analysis of Lecythidoideae with emphasis on Bertholletia, Corythophora, Eschweilera, and Lecythis

  • Ya-Yi HuangAffiliated withThe New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY 10458-5126, U.S.A. Current address: Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica Email author 
  • , Scott A. MoriAffiliated withInstitute of Systematic Botany, The New York Botanical Garden
  • , Lawrence M. KellyAffiliated withThe New York Botanical Garden

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A cladistic analysis was conducted to test the monophyly of Eschweilera and Lecythis as well as to examine the relationships of these two genera and their close relatives Bertholletia and Corythophora. The study included 86 species, representing all four genera and covering the range of taxonomic and morphological variation in the genera. The data matrix included 49 parsimony-informative characters derived from vegetative, floral, fruit, and seed morphology and anatomy. The results based on the consensus of all most parsimonious trees indicate that Bertholletia, Corythophora, Eschweilera, and Lecythis form a clade supported by brachyparacytic stomata, the absence of pedicels (with subsequent reversals in several clades), a two or four-locular ovary, the presence of an aril, and the absence of cotyledons. Within the clade, the monophyly of Corythophora is supported by the presence of inflorescence scales and the absence of nectar. Eschweilera is monophyletic only if E. congestiflora and E. simiorum are excluded. The monophyly of Eschweilera is supported by the presence of a two-locular ovary. Lecythis is not monophyletic, but sections Corrugata, Pisonis, and Poiteaui are monophyletic. Three species of section Lecythis are more closely related to Eschweilera, and other species of section Lecythis along with Bertholletia excelsa remain as unresolved.

Key Words

Bertholletia Corythophora Eschweilera Lecythis Lecythidoideae zygomorphy