Australian Journal of Botany Australian Journal of Botany Society
Southern hemisphere botanical ecosystems

Floral Initiation and Development in Helipterum roseum (Hook.) Benth. And Helichrysum bracteatum (Vent.) Andrews (Asteraceae)

KV Sharman and M Sedgley

Australian Journal of Botany 36(5) 575 - 587
Published: 1988


Floral initiation and development in Helichrysum bracteatum and Helipterum roseum were investigated by scanning electron microscopy. The sequence of events in these two species was similar and occurred rapidly. Seven stages in apical development were identified, which were distinctive in both appearance and size. Stage 1 was a small vegetative meristem with 2-4 leaf primordia. Stage 2 (also vegetative) was characterized by a doubling in both height and diameter. A doming of the apical meristem signified the commencement of stage 3, and at the appearance of the first involucral bracts (stage 4) the apex had further tripled in height and doubled in diameter. This was followed by the appearance of floret primordia (stage 5). By the time the inflorescence buds were visible to the naked eye (stage 6) several rows of florets were present, and at anthesis (stage 7) the capitulum was covered with florets. During the transition from stage 4 to stage 5 a few developing primordia appeared to divide. The lower portion developed into a small involucral bract and the upper portion into a floret. The florets developed centripetally such that a range of developmental stages was present on the capitulum. The development of the individual florets involved the differentiation of perianth, anther, pistil and pappus hairs. Stage 4 was considered the point at which the apex was committed to flower.

© CSIRO 1988

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