A seed atlas of Hypoxis from eastern North America

Scott Zona, Jeffery Prince, Gabriela Halder, Robert Schwartz, Rodrigo Vargas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The micromorphology of the seeds of six species of Hypoxis (Hypoxidaceae) from eastern North America (east of Texas) was studied with low vacuum, scanning electron microscopy using the backscatter detector. The shape of the cells of the seed coat and the configuration of the cuticle appeared characteristic for a particular species. The species may be placed into three main groups. The first group, those with shiny black, papillate cells, includes H. curtissii and H. hirsuta. The second group, those with shiny black, rounded-inflated (colliculate) cells, comprises H. juncea and H. rigida. The third group of H. sessilis and H. wrightii is characterized by brown seeds with wrinkled, detached cuticles. The seeds of H. sessilis are unique among the eastern North American species in having iridescent seed coats. The widespread occurrence of these seed coat characters among both American and African species suggests that phylogenetically informative characteristics of the seed coat of Hypoxis are affected by a high level of homoplasy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-32
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Torrey Botanical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Hypoxidaceae
  • Hypoxis
  • morphology
  • seed
  • seed coat
  • SEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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