Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 161, Issue 1–2, pp 71–85 | Cite as

Micromorphology of epicuticular waxes in Centrosperms

  • Thomas Engel
  • Wilhelm Barthlott


Epidermal surfaces of about 500 species from some 250 genera of centrospermous families plus some possibly related families were examined by scanning electron microscopy. The micromorphology of their epicuticular waxes is described under taxonomic aspects. In general, Centrosperms tend to develop wax platelets on their cuticle. Shape and size of these platelets are highly diverse, but specific for some taxa. Particular forms of rodlets and thick wax plates occur only in few taxa. The systematic and taxonomic applicability of wax micromorphology is limited, but tentatively family characterizations are given. The data presented provide additional information concerning the familiar and suprafamiliar classification ofCaryophyllales.

Key words

Angiosperms Caryophyllales Centrospermae Cuticle micromorphology scanning electron microscopy systematics taxonomy wax 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Engel
    • 2
  • Wilhelm Barthlott
    • 1
  1. 1.Botanisches Institut und Botanischer GartenUniversität BonnBonn 1Germany
  2. 2.Institut für Systematische Botanik und PflanzengeographieFreien Universität BerlinBerlin 33Germany

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