Australian Systematic Botany Australian Systematic Botany Society
Taxonomy, biogeography and evolution of plants
RESEARCH ARTICLE

The trichotomosulcate asparagoids: pollen morphology of Hemerocallidaceae in relation to systematics and pollination biology

Carol A. Furness A C , John G. Conran B , Thomas Gregory A and Paula J. Rudall A

A Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3DS, UK.

B The University of Adelaide, ACEBB, EES, Benham Building, DX 650 312, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: c.furness@kew.org

Australian Systematic Botany 26(6) 393-407 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SB13046
Submitted: 2 November 2013  Accepted: 29 January 2014   Published: 27 March 2014

Abstract

We examined pollen of 19 genera of Hemerocallidaceae by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and one genus (Dianella) by using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Pollen was generally small in size, with a rounded triangular outline when hydrated, and a characteristic three-armed aperture, a distal trichotomosulcus. The pollen surface was finely sculptured and the exine was thin. Microreticulate pollen is a potential synapomorphy for several species of the ‘crown phormioid’ subclade recognised in molecular analyses. Perforate and fossulate pollen supports a relationship between several species of Dianella. Microrugulate pollen is more frequent in the johnsonioids than in the phormioids. Hemerocallis is distinguished by elongated monosulcate pollen, a relatively thick exine with a pronounced reticulate surface, and large globules of attached pollenkitt. We hypothesise that Hemerocallidaceae are ancestrally buzz-pollinated, and their pollen morphology is an adaptation to this pollination type. A reversal to butterfly or moth pollination occurred in Hemerocallis, with associated changes in pollen morphology.


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