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Plant Diversity and Resources

Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica

Volume 30 Issue 2, Pages 118C125.

Published Online: 18 Mar. 1992

Seed Morphology of Plantago in China and Its Taxonomic Significance

Liu Jun-Zhe, Zhang Qing-Min, Guo Shu-Hua, Zhou Xing-Di

Plantago, Seed morphology, Seed-coat Sculpture

Studied in this work was seed morphology of the genus Plantago (2 subgenera, 8
sections, 17 species and 1 variety )in China. The sculpture was observed under scanning elec-
tion microscope. Four forms of seed morphology are recognized as follows: (1)Multi-angu-
lar type: seeds are variously angulate, yellow-brown or black, 6-30 in a fruit; seed-coat
sculpture ranges from reticulate to papillate. It occurs in Subgen. Plantago Sect. Polyneuron:
P. scheideri, P. denstflorus, P. major, P. hostifolia, P. asiatica, P. erosa and P. centralis. (2)
Navicular type: seeds are navicular, yellow, brown to black, 2 in a fruit; seed-coat sculpture
is reticulate. It was found in Subgen. Plantago Sect. Novorbis: P. virginica; Sect.
Arnoglossum: P. lanceolata; Sect. Leucopsyllium: P. minuta, P. lessingii and P. aristata and
Subgen.  Psyllium Sect. Psyllium: P.  indica. (3)Ovoid type: seeds are long-ovoid,
yellow-brown, black and lustrous. Seed-coat sculpture scali-ratiform. P. maxima in Subgen.
Plantago Sect. Lamprosantha belongs to this type. (4)Recti-circular type: seeds are recti-cir-
cular, yellow-brown, black, 1-2 or 4-5 in a fruit; seed-coat sculpture is reticulate and
papillate. It was found in P. maritima var. salsa of Subgen. Plantago Sect. Coronopus and P.
depressa, P. camtschatica and P. arachnoidea of Sect. Mesembrynia. The seed morphology
and seed-coat sculture exhibit specific characters, by which some of confused species can be
clarified and a new species, P. densiflorus J. Z. Liu. is established.
     The present author¨s seed morphology classification is in accordance with Pilger¨s system
of the genus, which was established using other features.

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