Plant Systematics and Evolution

, Volume 302, Issue 1, pp 67–88 | Cite as

Pollen morphology of Callicarpa L. (Lamiaceae) from China and its systematic implications

  • Zhonghui Ma
  • Gemma L. C. BramleyEmail author
  • Dianxiang ZhangEmail author
Original Article


Pollen morphology of 36 species and 9 varieties of Callicarpa L. (Lamiaceae) from China was investigated through scanning electron microscopy. Pollen grains of the genus are monads, radiosymmetric and tricolpate, mainly medium in size, spheroidal (rarely subprolate, prolate or suboblate) in equatorial view and (sub) circular or rounded triangular in polar view. The edge of colpus is thin, perforate or thickened but imperforate and the colpus membrane of the investigated taxa is usually uneven (sunken or raised), with finely/coarsely granular or irregular striation. Four different ornamentation types are delimited on the basis of exine sculpturing: (1) coarsely reticulate; (2) microreticulate; (3) rugosely reticulate and (4) rugulate reticulate. The results do not support the traditional infrageneric classification of Callicarpa which is based on stamen characters. However, pollen characters provide evidence to support Callicarpa as the sister to the Australian subfamily Prostantheroideae, a relationship previously suggested by molecular phylogenetic analyses.


Callicarpa Lamiaceae Pollen morphology Systematic implication 



This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 31400178) and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Grant no. 2013FY111200). We are indebted to Ms. Xiao-Ying Hu for technical assistance with scanning electron microscope observations and Dr. Pei-Wu Xie for helpful advice.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Plant Resource Conservation and Sustainable Utilization, South China Botanical GardenThe Chinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Agricultural CollegeGuangxi UniversityNanningChina
  3. 3.Royal Botanic GardensRichmondUK

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