The wood structure of 78 species from 27 genera representing the woody primuloids (Maesaceae, Myrsinaceae, and Theophrastaceae) was investigated using light microscopy (LM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Results indicated that the ray structure, the nature of mineral inclusions, and the occurrence of breakdown areas in rays can be used to separate the three primuloid families from each other. Within Ericales, the presence of exclusively multiseriate rays is synapomorphic for Myrsinaceae and Theophrastaceae, and the occurrence of breakdown areas in rays is synapomorphic for Myrsinaceae. Within Myrsinaceae, the wood structure of the mangrove genus Aegiceras differs because it has short vessel elements that are storied, non-septate fibers, a combination of low uni- and multiseriate rays, and multiseriate rays with exclusively procumbent body ray cells. The aberrant wood anatomy of Coris and Lysimachia can be explained by their secondary woodiness. Within Theophrastaceae, Clavija and Theophrasta can be distinguished from Bonellia, Jacquinia, and Deherainia. The recent division of Jacquinia s.l. into Jacquinia s.s. and Bonellia is supported by a difference in mineral inclusions.

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Systematic Botany
Staff publications

Lens, F., Jansen, S., Caris, P., Serlet, L., & Smets, E. (2005). Comparative Wood Anatomy of the Primuloid Clade (Ericales s.l.). Systematic Botany, 30(1), 163–183.