Original Research

Leaf anatomy of the South African Danthonieae (Poaceae). III. Merxmuellera stricta

R. P. Ellis
Bothalia | Vol 13, No 1/2 | a1309 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v13i1/2.1309 | © 1980 R. P. Ellis | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 November 1980 | Published: 06 November 1980

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R. P. Ellis, Botanical Research Institute, Department of Agricultural Technical Services, South Africa

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Abstract

The anatomical structure, of the leaf blade as seen in transverse section, and of the abaxial epidermis, of Merxmuellera stricta (Schrad.) Conert is described and illustrated. In this variable species four distinct anatomical “forms” are recognized viz. the typical  M. stricta form, the Cathedral Peak form, the Drakensberg form and the alpine form. The alpine and Cathedral Peak forms have recently been described as M. guillarmodiae Conert (1975). The degree of anatomical differentiation of these “forms” resembles the situation described in M. disticha (Nees) Conert (Ellis, 1980). Populations of both M. stricta and M. disticha from the Drakensberg mountains display extensive anatomical diversification which appears to be correlated with environmental factors. In addition, morphological differences are exhibited as well and the anatomical “forms” of M. stricta probably warrant taxonomic recognition.


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