The Botanical Review

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 817–931 | Cite as

The terminology and classification of steles: Historical perspective and the outlines of a system

  • Rudolf Schmid


Discussion focuses on the history of classification of the steles of vascular plants, from Jeffrey (1898) to the present. Recent stelar classifications are largely based (1) on Jeffrey’s system (protostele vs. siphonostele, the latter with ectophloic vs. amphiphloic types), (2) on the system developed by the early British morphologists, notably Brebner (1902), Gwynne-Vaughan (1901), Tansley (1907-08), and Tansley and Lulham (1902) (protostele vs. medullated protostele vs. solenostele vs. dictyostele vs. eustele, with various subtypes), or (3) on a combination of the preceding two systems, the British usually superimposed upon the Jeffreyian, although generally erratically so. An extended classification of three main stelar types and 25 stelar subtypes derived from Brebner (1902), Gwynne-Vaughan (1901), Jeffrey (1898), Tansley (1907-08), and others is presented in outline form with accompanying etymology, synonymy, examples, and with detailed notes on controversial taxa, classificatory rationale, and historical aspects. Recognized are (1) “protostele” (divided into “ectophloic,” “endophloic,” and “amphiphloic,” with 7, 1, and 1 subtypes respectively), (2) “siphonostele” (divided into “ectophloic” with 2 subtypes and “amphiphloic,” the latter divided into “solenostele” and “dictyostele” with 3 subtypes each, plus “siphonostele incertae sedis”), and (3) “eustele” (divided into “eustele sensu stricto” with 4 subtypes, “pseudosiphonostele,” “reduced eustele,” and “polycyclic eustele”).


Botanical Review Sensu Stricto Vascular Cylinder Stelar Morphology Young Sporophyte 
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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rudolf Schmid
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeley

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