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.
- seed coat
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics