Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 280, Issue 1–2, pp 1–13 | Cite as

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

  • Mei LiuEmail author
  • B.-E. Van Wyk
  • P. M. Tilney
  • G. M. Plunkett
  • P. P. LowryII
Original Article


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 



We gratefully acknowledge the curators and staff of BOL, CBG, CHR, F, GH, K, MO, NAS, NE, NSW, NY, PRE, RAB, S, SP, U, VCU for supplying fruit samples or for permission to collect fruits for our study. Financial support was provided to ML and BEVW from the University of Johannesburg and the National Research Foundation (South Africa), from the US National Science Foundation to GMP (DEB 0613728) and to PPL (DEB 0614152) and from the China National Science Foundation to ML (30870148).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mei Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  • B.-E. Van Wyk
    • 2
  • P. M. Tilney
    • 2
  • G. M. Plunkett
    • 3
    • 4
  • P. P. LowryII
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of BiologyHarbin Normal UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Botany and Plant BiotechnologyUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgRepublic of South Africa
  3. 3.Department of BiologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  4. 4.New York Botanical Garden200th St. & Kazimiroff Blvd.BronxUSA
  5. 5.Missouri Botanical GardenSt. LouisUSA
  6. 6.Département Systématique et Evolution (USM 602)Muséum National d’Histoire NaturelleParis Cedex 05France

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