Research Paper

Diversity in fruit and seed characters of Chamaelirium and Chionographis (Melanthiaceae)

Noriyuki Tanaka

Published on: 22 February 2017

DOI: 10.6165/tai.2017.62.67

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2017 vol.62 no.1 pp.67-74


Phenotypic characters of fruits and seeds of two closely allied genera Chamaelirium and Chionographis (Melanthiaceae) are reexamined. The results show that the two genera differ mainly in the number of ovules per locule, the shape of seeds, and the arrangement of seeds within the locule and of a seed body within the testa. Evidence also shows that in Chionographis a Chinese species (C. chinensis) significantly differ from three species from Japan and Korea (e.g. C. japonica) chiefly by the seeds acutely beaked proximally and in the narrowly obovoid, proximally cuneate fruits (capsules) that ripen in May to June (vs. autumn) and have a carpo-gynophore and locules mutually free, acute, and indehiscent in the proximal part. Data obtained is discussed from taxonomical and evolutionary aspects.

Keyword: Carpo-gynophore, Chamaelirium, Chionographis, Fruits, Diversity, Evolution, Melanthiaceae, Seeds, Taxonomy