Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 142, Issue 3–4, pp 171–185 | Cite as

Mikromorphologie und Orientierungsmuster epicuticularer Wachs-Kristalloide: Ein neues systematisches Merkmal bei Monokotylen

  • Wilhelm Barthlott
  • Dorothea Frölich

Micromorphology and orientation patterns of epicuticular wax crystalloids: A new systematic feature for the classification of monocotyledons


Based on SEM examinations of some 1600 species of monocotyledons out of 61 families the characteristics of their epicuticular waxes are described in this preliminary paper and illustrated by 20 SEM micrographs. Four basic types of waxes are recognized. Two of them occur throughout the monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous orders of angiosperms; two others are of high systematic significance and restricted to particular orders of the monocotyledons: The “Convallaria-Type” is characterized by fine wax platelets with parallel orientation, forming a pattern around the stomata reminiscent of electromagnetic field lines. This type is restricted to the three liliiflorous ordersAsparagales, Liliales, andBurmanniales. The “Strelitzia-Type” is characterized by massive compound wax rodlets; it is restricted to the superordersAreciflorae, Commeliniflorae, Zingiberiflorae, plus the two liliiflorous ordersBromeliales andVelloziales. The data are compared with the classifications ofDahlgren & Clifford (1982); they tentatively indicate the exclusion ofBromeliales, Velloziales, andTyphales from theLiliiflorae.

Key words

Angiosperms Monocotyledonae Epicuticular wax micromorphology taxonomy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilhelm Barthlott
    • 1
  • Dorothea Frölich
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Systematische Botanik und PflanzengeographieFreien Universität BerlinBerlin 33Germany
  2. 2.Institut für Systematische Botanik und PflanzengeographieUniversität HeidelbergHeidelbergBundesrepublik Deutschland

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