Structure, ontogeny and vascularization of the flowers and inflorescences of Drimys granadensis (Winteraceae)
Drimys granadensis is a widespread species in montane forests of South and Central America. In this research, the structure, ontogeny, phyllotaxis and vascularization of the flowers and inflorescences of this species was studied in a population from the Eastern hills of Sabana de Bogota, Colombia. The methods used applied both optical microscopy, with astra blue-fuchsin staining, and scanning electron microscopy, using critical point dryed and gold-paladium metallized samples. Besides, results were compared with those of Drimys winteri, a widely studied species distributed in Chile and Argentina. Additionally, we studied the detail of the floral anatomy to determine the bracteal or calicine identity of the caliptra. I confirmed the proliferative status of the monothelic inflorescence, discarding alternative explanations of the terminal flower identity. I found that uniflorescences have an acropetal development until the terminal meristem becomes the terminal flower, then this flower develops rapidly resulting in a determined uniflorescence. I found pseudosyphonosthelic vascularization in peduncles and pedicels. Besides, I discovered some evidence in the vascular and anatomical structures, to consider the caliptra as the fusion product of various structures and therefore of calicine origin. The caliptra showed a whorled phyllotaxis, but the petals, stamens and carpels presented a spiral condition; phyllotaxis change was explained by the long time lapse between the initiation of the calyx and the corolla. I found great similarities among the inflorescences of D. granadensis and D. winteri; they were different in the proliferation start time, and in the frequent presence of nomophylls in D. granadensis, in contrast to the presence of reduced bracts and bracteoles in D. winteri inflorescences.
Keywords: calyptra, monothelic inflorescence, phyllotaxis, proliferation, uniflorescence, vascularization