Skip to main content

Fruit and seed micromorphology and its systematic significance in tribe Sorbarieae (Rosaceae)


We investigated fruit and seed morphology in tribe Sorbarieae and one traditionally included genus (Lyonothamnus), which revealed that these characteristics are taxonomically significant for generic delimitation in the tribe Sorbarieae, and two distinct groups in the genus Sorbaria were identified. The following fruit and seed micromorphological characteristics were described: size, shape, texture, the presence/absence of epicuticular wax and, trichomes, testa cell size, and surface ornamentation. Multicellular capitate glands with stalks were only observed on the follicle surfaces of Lyonothamnus. Simple unbranched unicellular non-glandular trichomes were found on the follicles of Chamaebatiaria millefolium, Sorbaria grandiflora, S. sorbifolia complex, and Spiraeanthus schrenkianus. However, Sorbaria arborea complex, S. kirilowii, and S. tomentosa complex had platelet epicuticular wax on their glabrous follicles. Moreover, four types of testa ornamentation were identified: type I, colliculate (Lyonothamnus); type II, reticulate, with straight anticlinal walls and smooth to micro-papillate periclinal walls (Chamaebatiaria); type III, reticulate, with undulate anticlinal walls and smooth periclinal walls (Spiraeanthus); and type IV, reticulate testa ornamentation and divided into two subtypes based on anticlinal and periclinal cell wall patterns (Sorbaria). These studied characteristics identified using principal component analysis may have diagnostic importance among the taxa in the tribe. Our fruit and seed micromorphological results provide strong evidence that genus Lyonothamnus could be positioned in the tribe Lyonothamneae, not Sorbarieae. Moreover, these data supported the preliminary phylogenetic hypothesis that Sorbaria could be divided into two groups.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6


Download references


We thank the directors of the herbaria A, C, GH, KH, KHUS, MO, PE, and SNUA for permission to examine the specimens, and we are also grateful to our colleagues Drs. H.-K. Moon, M.-J. Kong, and M.-K. Oak for general assistance. This study is a part of the Ph.D. dissertation of the first author (J.-H. Song) and is supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Sciences and Technology (Grant No. NRF-2018R1D1A1A09083715) to S.-P. Hong.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Suk-Pyo Hong.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Handling Editor: Louis P. Ronse De Craene.

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (PDF 38 kb)

Information on Electronic Supplementary Material

Information on Electronic Supplementary Material

Online Resource 1. Voucher specimens of tribe Sorbarieae that are examined in the present study.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Song, JH., Hong, SP. Fruit and seed micromorphology and its systematic significance in tribe Sorbarieae (Rosaceae). Plant Syst Evol 306, 6 (2020).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI:


  • Epicuticular wax
  • SEM
  • Sorbarieae
  • Testa ornamentation
  • Trichome type