Systematic vegetative anatomy and ensiform leaf development in Xyris (Xyridaceae)
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Ensiform leaf development in monocotyledons follows a broadly similar sequence in a wide range of relatively unrelated taxa, indicating a plastic developmental pattern, possibly associated with stressed environmental conditions, since Xyris species tend to grow in relatively damp but nutrient-poor environments. The bifacial leaf sheath surrounds the apex and the subadjacent primordium. A conical unifacial leaf tip 'Vorlauferspitze' is established at an early stage, followed by extension growth in the region behind it, generating a unifacial ensiform blade. Root and rhizome structure are also described in a systematic context, particularly in comparison with related taxa in Xyridaceae and other commelinoid monocotyledons, although information on these structure is relatively sparse.