The Botanical Review

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 1–46 | Cite as

The inferior ovary. II

  • Gertrude E. Douglas


Within the last 12 years knowledge concerning the inferior ovary has been extended, but controversy has not terminated. As the result of anatomical studies, appendicular inferior ovaries have been reported in various genera of the following families: Agavaceae, Araliaceae, Begoniaceae, Bromeliaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Celastraceae, Compositae, Cornaceae, Ericaceae, Orchidaceae and Rubiaceae, and inJuglans of the Juglandaceae. The receptacular cup type, with ascending and recurrent budles in the wall, present inDarbya seems to be characteristic of the Santalaceae as a whole, of the Loranthaceae, ofCarya andAnnamocarya of the Juglandaceae, and of the Cactaceae. True inferior ovaries, in which the outer structures are fused with the ovary, should be distinguished from perigynous cups, as are found inRosa andCalycanthus. Recently the value of using the anatomical method in solving the problem of the structure of the inferior ovary has been questioned because of facts which have come out of modern studies in histogenesis and morphogenesis. It should be emphasized, however, that these facts are concerned with ontogeny. Plant morphologists have found that vascular anatomy, when used in comparative studies, has been a most valuable tool in the reconstruction of plant phylogenies, and they see no valid reason why it is not conclusive in the determination of the nature of the inferior ovary wall.


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© The New York Botanical Garden 1957

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gertrude E. Douglas
    • 1
  1. 1.Feura BushN. Y.

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