Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



American Journal of Botany (February 1968) 55(2): 236-242.

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Copyright 1968, Wiley. Used by permission.


The flower of Hydrocleis nymphoides consists of three sepals which arise in spiral succession, three simultaneously arising petals, numerous stamens and staminodia which arise in centrifugal order, and six carpels. A residual apex remains at maturity. The first-formed members of the androecium are stamens and the later-formed members are staminodia which develop below the stamens and which become outwardly displaced during expansion of the receptacle. The androecium is supplied by branching vascular trunk bundles. The carpels are completely open but the ventral margins are slightly conduplicately appressed basally. A single dorsal bundle provides the stigmatic area with vascular tissue, and a network of small placental bundles supplies the numerous laminar ovules. There are no clearly defined ventral bundles. It is suggested that Hydrocleis nymphoides is neither the most primitive nor the most advanced member of the family. A pattern of phylogenetic reduction in the androecium and receptacle is suggested for the entire family.