Morphological architecture of Actinocephalus (Koern.) sano (Eriocaulaceae-Poales)
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Actinocephalus exhibits perhaps more diversity in habit than any other genus of Eriocaulaceae. This variation is largely a result of differences in the arrangement of the paraclades. Based on the analysis of stem architecture of all 25 species of Actinocephalus, the following patterns were established: (1) leaf rosette, with no elongated axis, instead the axillary paraclades originating directly from the short aerial stem, (2) rosette axis continuing into an elongated axis with spirally arranged paraclades, (3) an elongated axis originating from a rhizome, with ramified paraclades, and (4) an elongated axis originating from a short aerial stem, with paraclades arranged in a subwhorl. The elongated axis exhibits indeterminate growth only in pattern 4. Patterns 3 and 4 are found exclusively in Actinocephalus; pattern I occurs in many other genera of Eriocaulaceae, while pattern 2 is also found in Syngonanthus and Paepalanthus. Anatomically, each stem structure (i.e., paraclade, elongated axis, short aerial stem, rhizome) is thickened in a distinctive way and this can be used to distinguish them. Specifically, elongated axes and paraclades lack thickening, thickening of short aerial stems results from the primary thickening meristem and/or the secondary thickening meristem. Thickening of rhizomes results from the activity of the primary thickening meristem. (c) 2008 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.