Floral development in three species of Impatiens (Balsaminaceae)
American Journal of Botany , Volume 93 - Issue 1 p. 1- 14
The floral morphological and developmental patterns in three species of Impatiens (Balsaminaceae), namely I. columbaria, I. hawkeri, and I. niamniamensis, were studied to contribute to a better understanding of floral evolution in the genus. Strangely enough, the highly diverse floral morphology and ontogeny of this horticulturally important genus have never been studied thoroughly (e.g., using scanning electron microscopic techniques). We discuss the position and the developmental sequence of the different perianth members. We hypothesized that in the course of evolution, the anterolateral sepals become reduced and that a morphocline can be recognized going from species with five sepals, over species with rudimentary sepals that fuse postgenitally with the anterior petal, to species where congenital fusion between these sepals and the anterior petal has taken place. Ovules generally are in one or two vertical rows per locule, but there are several vertical rows per locule in I. columbaria. The outer parts of the septa disintegrate to enable the explosive dehiscence of the capsules.