Inflorescence and floral morphology of Haptanthus hazlettii (Buxaceae, Buxales)

Alexei Oskolski, Maria von Balthazar, Yannick M. Staedler, Alexey B. Shipunov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The enigmatic Central American tree Haptanthus hazlettii has recently been placed in Buxaceae (Buxales) by molecular evidence. However, Haptanthus appears morphologically to be fundamentally different from other Buxales in having pluriovular carpels with parietal placentation and reduced male reproductive units of an obscure morphological nature. The latter have been interpreted to be pairs of unistaminate flowers, or single flowers, either bearing two stamens or a pair of phyllomes with adnate introrse anthers. We (re-)investigated the structure of the inflorescences and flowers of Haptanthus in order to clarify their homologies with reproductive structures of Buxales. We found that, despite some distinctive traits of flower morphology, Haptanthus shares many floral characters, including the opposite and pairwise arrangement of floral organs and the fusion between perianth members and stamens, with some Buxales and other early-branching eudicots. The plicate and pluriovular gynoecium of Haptanthus may be the result of a drastic elongation of the symplicate zone, accompanied by an increase in ovule number, and is thus a derived trait in Buxales. The anther-bearing structures are phyllomes with adnate anthers rather than stamens or unistaminate flowers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-200
Number of pages11
JournalBotanical Journal of the Linnean Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015


  • Adnate anthers
  • Androecium
  • Carpels
  • Early-branching eudicots
  • Gynoecium
  • Perianth
  • Symplicate zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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