A contribution to the taxonomy of Bolboschoenus (Cyperaceae), with particular reference to fruit morphology and the African species.
Browning, Jane Beatrice Mary.
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Using the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), fruit surface and pericarp anatomy were investigated in the African species of Bolboschoenits (Ascherson) Palla [B. maritimus (L.) Palla; B. glaucus (Lam.) S.G. Smith; B. nobilis (Ridley) Goetghebeur & D.A. Simpson; B. grandispicus (Steud.) K. Lewejohann & W. Lobin] and extended worldwide to cover most known species. There was consideration of type specimens wherever possible. Two main patterns of pericarp construction were revealed, with modifications. Using fruit samples from field populations, a surveillance of embryos was carried out to gain some information on percentages of perfect embryo development and variability in embryo outline (as seen in optical, median sagittal section), within and between selected species. Inflorescence structure within African species was studied and illustrated photographically and diagrammatically. The collective information obtained was directed towards better understanding of species limits within the genus and towards gaining evidence of the significance of natural hybridisation as a cause of morphological variability within some taxa. Formal taxonomy including a key to the identification of the African species is provided. Profuse illustrations of pericarp structure of world species are given, as are colour photographs of the African species, excepting B. grandispicus. A tentative pattern for subgeneric division of Bolboschoenus based primarily on pericarp morphology, is suggested supplemented by a world map illustrating the presently known distribution of the suggested groupings.