Systematic position of Xyris: Flower and seed anatomy
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Flower anatomy, embryology, and seed anatomy are described for some Brazilian species of Xyris section Nematopus and reviewed with respect to the systematic position of Xyris and allied taxa in Commelinanae. Apart from tenuinucellate ovules (shared with Poales, Mayaca, and Eriocaulaceae), Xyris lacks some of the synapomorphies of other genera that are sometimes included in Xyridaceae (Aratitiyopea, Achlyphila, Abolboda, and Orectanthe), such as inaperturate spinulate pollen; Xyris has monosulcate reticulate pollen. There is an unusual degree of variation among different genera of Xyridaceae for characters such as tapetum type, indicating that the monophyly of the family requires testing. However, while several characters indicate two generic groups, there is much missing critical information for embryological and seed coat characters in other Xyridaceae.