Plant a shrub or tree; true roots +, origin endogeneous, root cap +, apex multicellular; endodermis +; shoot apical meristem multicellular; lateral meristems +, cork cambium producing cork abaxially, vascular cambium producing phloem abaxially and xylem adaxially; lamina with mean venation density 1.8 mm/mm2 (to 5 mm/mm2).
EXTANT SEED PLANTS/SPERMATOPHYTA
Plant woody, evergreen; nicotinic acid metabolised to trigonelline, (cyanogenesis via tyrosine pathway); primary cell walls rich in xyloglucans and/or glucomannans, 25-30% pectin [Type I walls]; lignins derived from (some) sinapyl and particularly coniferyl alcohols, thus containing p-hydroxyphenyl and guaiacyl lignin units, so no Maüle reaction; root xylem exarch, cork cambium deep seated; arbuscular mycorrhizae +; shoot apical meristem interface specific plasmodesmatal network; stem with vascular tissue around central pith [eustele], vascular bundles with interfascicular tissue, ectophloic, endodermis 0, xylem endarch; wood homoxylous, tracheids and rays alone, tracheid/tracheid pits circular, bordered; mature sieve tube/cell lacking functioning nucleus, sieve tube plastids with starch grains; phloem fibres +; stem cork cambium superficial; branches exogenous; leaves with single trace from vascular sympodium ["nodes 1:1"]; vascular bundles collateral [stem: phloem external; leaf: phloem abaxial]; stomata morphology?, pore opening controlled by abscisic acid; leaves with petiole and lamina, spiral, development basipetal, blade simple; axillary buds +, not associated with all leaves; prophylls two, lateral; plant heterosporous, sporangia borne on sporophylls; microsporophylls aggregated in indeterminate cones/strobili; true pollen +, grains mono[ana]sulcate, exine and intine homogeneous; ovules unitegmic, parietal tissue 2+ cells across, megaspore tetrad tetrahedral, only one megaspore develops, megasporangium indehiscent; male gametophyte development first endo- then exosporic, tube developing from distal end of grain, to ca 2 mm from receptive surface to egg, gametes two, developing after pollination, with cell walls, flagellae numerous; ovules increasing considerably in size between pollination and fertilization, female gametophyte endosporic, initially syncytial, walls then surrounding individual nuclei; seeds "large" [ca 8 mm3], but not much bigger than ovule, with morphological dormancy; embryo cellular ab initio, endoscopic, plane of first cleavage of zygote transverse, suspensor +, short-minute, embryo straight, shoot and root at opposite ends [allorrhizic], white, cotyledons 2; plastid transmission maternal; ycf2 gene in inverted repeat, two copies of LEAFY gene, PHY gene duplications [three - [BP [A/N + C/O]] - copies], nrDNA with 5.8S and 5S rDNA in separate clusters; mitochondrial nad1 intron 2 and coxIIi3 intron and trans-spliced introns present.
Lignans, O-methyl flavonols, dihydroflavonols, triterpenoid oleanane, non-hydrolysable tannins, quercetin and/or kaempferol +, apigenin and/or luteolin scattered, [cyanogenesis in ANITA grade?], S [syringyl] lignin units common, positive Maüle reaction [syringyl:guaiacyl ratio more than 2-2.5:1], and hemicelluloses as xyloglucans; root apical meristem intermediate-open; root vascular tissue oligarch [di- to pentarch], lateral roots arise opposite or immediately to the side of [when diarch] xylem poles; origin of epidermis with no clear pattern [probably from inner layer of root cap], trichoblasts [differentiated root hair-forming cells] 0, exodermis +; shoot apex with tunica-corpus construction, tunica 2-layered; reaction wood ?, associated gelatinous fibres [g-fibres] with innermost layer of secondary cell wall rich in cellulose and poor in lignin; starch grains simple; primary cell wall mostly with pectic polysaccharides, poor in mannans; tracheid:tracheid [end wall] plates with scalariform pitting, wood parenchyma +; sieve tubes enucleate, sieve plate with pores (0.1-)0.5-10< µm across, cytoplasm with P-proteins, cytoplasm not occluding pores of sieve plate, companion cell and sieve tube from same mother cell; sugar transport in phloem passive; nodes unilacunar [1:?]; stomata brachyparacytic [ends of subsidiary cells level with ends of pore], outer stomatal ledges producing vestibule; lamina formed from the primordial leaf apex, margins toothed, development of venation acropetal, secondary veins pinnate, overall growth ± diffuse, venation hierarchical, fine venation reticulate, veins (1.7-)4.1(-5.7) mm/mm2, endings free; most/all leaves with axillary buds; flowers perfect, pedicellate, ± haplomorphic, parts spiral [esp. the A], free, numbers unstable, development in general centripetal; P not sharply differentiated, with a single trace, outer members not enclosing the rest of the bud, often smaller than inner members; A many, filament not sharply distinguished from anther, stout, broad, with a single trace, anther introrse, tetrasporangiate, sporangia in two groups of two [dithecal], ± embedded in the filament, with at least outer secondary parietal cells dividing, each theca dehiscing longitudinally, endothecium +, endothecial cells elongated at right angles to long axis of anther; tapetum glandular, cells binucleate; microspore mother cells in a block, microsporogenesis successive, walls developing by centripetal furrowing; pollen subspherical, tectum continuous or microperforate, ektexine columellar, endexine thin, compact, lamellate only in the apertural regions; nectary 0; G superior, free, several, ascidiate, with postgenital occlusion by secretion, stylulus short, hollow, cavity not lined by distinct epidermal layer, stigma ± decurrent, dry [not secretory]; ovules few [?1]/carpel, marginal, anatropous, bitegmic, micropyle endostomal, outer integument 2-3 cells across, often largely subdermal in origin, inner integument 2-3 cells across, often dermal in origin, parietal tissue 1-3 cells across [crassinucellate], nucellar cap?; megasporocyte single, hypodermal, megaspore tetrad linear, functional megaspore chalazal, lacking sporopollenin and cuticle; female gametophyte four-celled [one module, nucleus of egg cell sister to one of the polar nuclei]; ovule not increasing in size between pollination and fertilization; pollen binucleate at dispersal, male gametophyte trinucleate, germinating in less than 3 hours, pollination siphonogamous, tube elongated, growing between cells, growth rate 20-20,000 µm/hour, outer wall pectic, inner wall callose, with callose plugs, penetration of ovules via micropyle [porogamous], whole process takes ca 18 hours, distance to first ovule 1.1-2.1 mm; male gametes lacking cell walls, flagellae 0, double fertilization +, ovules aborting unless fertilized; P deciduous in fruit; seed exotestal, becoming much larger than ovule at time of fertilization; endosperm diploid, cellular [micropylar and chalazal domains develop differently, first division oblique, micropylar end initially with a single large cell, divisions uniseriate, chalazal cell smaller, divisions in several planes], copious, oily and/or proteinaceous; embryogenesis cellular; germination hypogeal, seedlings/young plants sympodial; Arabidopsis-type telomeres [(TTTAGGG)n]; whole genome duplication, ndhB gene 21 codons enlarged at the 5' end, single copy of LEAFY and RPB2 gene, knox genes extensively duplicated [A1-A4], AP1/FUL gene, paleo AP3 and PI genes [paralogous B-class genes] +, with "DEAER" motif, SEP3/LOFSEP and three copies of the PHY gene, [PHYB [PHYA + PHYC]].
[NYMPHAEALES [AUSTROBAILEYALES [[CHLORANTHALES + MAGNOLIIDS] [MONOCOTS [CERATOPHYLLALES + EUDICOTS]]]]]: vessels +, elements with elongated scalariform perforation plates; wood fibres +; axial parenchyma diffuse or diffuse-in-aggregates; pollen monosulcate [anasulcate], tectum reticulate-perforate [here?]; ?genome duplication; "DEAER" motif in AP3 and PI genes lost, gaps in these genes.
[AUSTROBAILEYALES [[CHLORANTHALES + MAGNOLIIDS] [MONOCOTS [CERATOPHYLLALES + EUDICOTS]]]]: essential oils in specialized cells [lamina and P ± pellucid-punctate]; tension wood 0; tectum reticulate; anther wall with outer secondary parietal cell layer dividing; carpels plicate; nucellar cap + [character lost where in eudicots?]; 12BP [4 amino acids] deletion in P1 gene.
[[CHLORANTHALES + MAGNOLIIDS] [MONOCOTS [CERATOPHYLLALES + EUDICOTS]]] / MESANGIOSPERMAE: benzylisoquinoline alkaloids +; polyacetate derived anthraquinones + [?level]; outer epidermal walls of root elongation zone with cellulose fibrils oriented transverse to root axis; P more or less whorled, 3-merous [possible positiion]; embryo sac bipolar, 8 nucleate, antipodal cells persisting; endosperm triploid; ?germination.
[MONOCOTS [CERATOPHYLLALES + EUDICOTS]]: (veins in lamina often 7-17mm/mm2 or more [mean for eudicots 8.0]); (stamens opposite [two whorls of] P); (pollen tube growth fast).
[CERATOPHYLLALES + EUDICOTS]: ethereal oils 0.
EUDICOTS: myricetin, delphinidin scattered, asarone 0 [unknown in some groups, + in some asterids]; root epidermis derived from root cap [?Buxaceae, etc.]; nodes 3:3; stomata anomocytic; flowers (dimerous), cyclic; K/outer P members with three traces, "C" with a single trace; A few, (polyandry widespread, initial primordia 5, 10, or ring, ± centrifugal), filaments fairly slender, anthers basifixed; microsporogenesis simultaneous, pollen tricolpate, apertures in pairs at six points of the young tetrad [Fischer's rule], cleavage centripetal, wall with endexine; G with complete postgenital fusion, stylulus/style solid [?here]; seed coat?
[PROTEALES [TROCHODENDRALES [BUXALES + CORE EUDICOTS]]]: (axial/receptacular nectary +).
[TROCHODENDRALES [BUXALES + CORE EUDICOTS]]: benzylisoquinoline alkaloids 0; euAP3 + TM6 genes [duplication of paleoAP3 gene: B class], mitochondrial rps2 gene lost.
[BUXALES + CORE EUDICOTS]: ?
Evolution. Divergence & Distribution. Stem group Buxales date to 121-117 m.y. (Anderson et al. 2005); Magallón and Castillo (2009) suggest ages of ca 121.5 m.y., Vekemans et al. (2012) ages of about (123-)122.4(-121.4) m.y., and Magallón et al. (2013) about 118.4 m.y. for the crown group.
BUXALES Reveal Main Tree, Synapomorphies.
Steroidal pregnan pseudoalkaloids +; true tracheids +; compression wood +; ?nodes; stomata cyclocytic; lamina margins entire; inflorescence racemose; plant monoecious; flowers small [<7 mm across], imperfect; P members with a single trace; anthers ± dorsifixed; pollen also with endoapertures; styluli stigmatic their entire length, with two crests; ovules 1-2/carpel; micropyle bistomal; seed testal, with several cell layers; endosperm development?, embryo size? - 2 families, 5 genera, 72 species.
Note: Possible apomorphies are now being added throughout the site; they are in bold. However, the actual level at which many of these features, particularly the more cryptic ones, should be assigned is unclear. This is because there is very considerable homoplasy, with variation within and between clades, for most characters. Furthermore, the basic information for all too many characters is very incomplete, often coming from taxa well embedded in the clade of interest and so making the position of any putative apomorphy uncertain. Then there is the not-so-trivial issue of how ancestral states are reconstructed...
Evolution. Divergence & Distribution. Magallón and Castillo (2009) suggested an age of ca 111.5 m.y. for crown-group Buxales.
Chemistry, Morphology, etc. The stomata of Buxaceae, at least, may be described as being laterocytic (Baranova 1983).
Phylogeny. For discussion on the phylogenetic position of Buxales, see the Ranuculales page. Didymelaceae are sister to Buxaceae (representatives of both tribes were included) in the three-gene analysis of Worberg et al. (2007), although Hilu et al. (2003: matK [incomplete sequence] alone) found Didymeles to be embedded in a paraphyletic Buxaceae. Including Didymelaceae in Buxaceae was an option in A.P.G. II (2003). The poorly-known Haptanthaceae were tentatively included in Buxales in pre-March 2011 versions of the site based on the anatomy of the male flower (Doust & Stevens 2005), but a position within Buxaceae sister to Buxus was strongly suggested by analysis of data from the rbcL gene (Shipunov & Shipunova 2011).
Includes Buxaceae, Didymelaceae.
Synonymy: Didymelales Takhtajan - Buxanae Reveal & Doweld
DIDYMELACEAE Leandri Back to Buxales
Evergreen trees; cork ?; pericyclic fibres 0; pith chambered, nodes ?; fibres +; petiole with three traces, the two lateral inverted; hairs small, peltate; leaves spiral; plant dioecious; staminate flowers: P 0; A 2, connate basally, anthers extrorse; pollen tricolpate with 2-orate colpi; carpellate flowers: ?P 1, scale-like; G 1; ovules 1(2)/carpel, median, epitropous, integuments ± elongated, protruding into the stylar canal, outer integument fringed apically; fruit a drupelet furrowed on one side; ?rudimentary aril +, testa cell walls thickened; endosperm 0, type?, embryo large; n = ?
1[list]/2. E. Madagascar. [Photos - Inflorescence]
Chemistry, Morphology, etc. Iridoids are reported by Sutton (1989); this should be confirmed. There is a broad pith and at best late-developing cork (Leandri 1937); the axial parenchyma is replaced by lignified cells (Takhtajan 1997). Harms (1893) described sclereids in the pericyclic position, and also cortical sclereids. Mabberley (1997) described the family as being glabrous.
Floral morphology has recently been described by von Balthazar and Endress (2002a) and Von Balthazar et al. (2003). In carpellate flowers there is a little scale between the ovule and the bract; its morphological nature is unclear; is it a third integument (Endress 2011b)? The flowers may be borne in pairs with a small hump between them, perhaps a modified cymose unit, the hump being a reduced terminal flower.
For a general summary, see Köhler (2006).
BUXACEAE Dumortier, nom. cons. Back to Buxales
Small evergreen trees to shrubs; raffinose, stachyose + [phloem exudate], tannins 0; cork subepidermal or pericyclic; sieve tube plastids with protein crystalloids; nodes 3:3; secretory cells single or in branching rows; petiole bundles arcuate; cuticle waxes as curled rodlets or irregular platelets; (stomata laterocytic); leaves opposite (spiral), lamina ptyxis flat to curved; staminate flowers: P (0-)2-4(5), not clearly separated from bracteoles, decussate; (A 2-many); pistillode +, nectariferous; carpellate flowers: P 6-20, at least some spiral; G , completely fused, with five bundles, styluli ± marginal, spreading, stigmatic their entire length, ± bicarinate, stigma dry or weakly secretory; ovules 2/carpel, apotropous, inner integument 2(-3) cells across, parietal tissue 4-15+ cell layers across, (weak nucellar cap), ovular obturator +; fruit with persistent styles; (seed carunculate), exotesta lignified, palisade, hypodermis often lignified; endosperm +, (perisperm +), embryo short to long.
6[list]/70 - two tribes below. ± World-wide, although very scattered, not Arctic or the Antipodes (map: see Meusel et al. 1978; Trop. Afr. Fl. Pl. Ecol. Distr. 5. 2010). [Photo - Inflorescence, Fruits.]
(Perennial herbs); (nodes 1:3 - Sarcococca); lamina margins toothed; no tanniniferous tissue in the flowers [?Didymelaceae]; staminate flowers: (A many - Styloceras), filaments conspicuous, (endothecium massive); pollen pantoporate, with crotonoid exine processes, (pistilode 0); carpellate flowers: bracts many, all spiral; G 2, (loculi divided); micropyle bitegmic, outer integument 2-3 cells across; fruit a drupe (dry; ?dehiscent); testa multiplicative, endotegmen lignified [Sarcococca]; endosperm nuclear [Sarcococca], embryo with short radicle; n = 12-14.
3/22. E. Asia to W. Malesia, E. North America, N. South America.
Synonymy: Pachysandraceae J. Agardh, Stylocerataceae Reveal & Hoogland
[Haptanthus + Buxeae]: G 3; outer integument ca 5 cells across.
2. Haptanthus Goldberg & C. Nelson
Cork ?; fibres storied; vessel elements with scalariform perforation plates; nodes 1:1 [from bracts]; stomata ?; plant glabrous; lamina weakly pli-nerved at the base, margins entire; inflorescences cymose, bracteoles 0; staminate flowers: P 0; A 2, anthers attached their length, filament broad; pollen tricolpate; pistillode 0; carpellate flowers: P ?4; staminodes 0; G stipitate, placentation parietal; ovules 8-15/carpel; fruit unknown; n = ?
1/1: Haptanthus hazlettii. Central America, Honduras, recently recollected.
Synonymy: Haptanthaceae C. Nelson
(Cortical vascular bundles +); staminate flowers: pollen 3-12 colporate, (colpus with 2-4 endoapertures), 12+ pantoporate; (pistillode 0); carpellate flowers: inflorescence with basal decussate "bracts"; median carpel adaxial, nectary between styles (0); micropyle endostomal, outer integument 5-10 cells across, minute third integument +?; fruit an explosively-dehiscent capsule, loculicidal; embryo ± curved, radicle long; n = 14, 20.
2/31. Scattered, inc. Madagasacar, only Central America and West Indies in New World, not Australia nor much of Malesia.
Evolution. Divergence & Distribution. Anderson et al. (2005) suggest that stem group Buxaceae date from 118-99 m.y., the crown group from 111-63 m.y.. The split between Sarcococceae and Buxeae may be ca 45 m.y.a. (N. Zhang et al. 2012).
Drinnan et al. (1991) described Spanomera from east North American deposits of 113-98 m.y. age (Albian); it is perhaps a member of stem group Buxaceae (see also Crepet et al. 2004; Doyle & Endress 2010). The carpellate flowers are dimerous, but there may be five stamens opposite five tepals (Drinnan et al. 1991); relationships with Trochodendraceae have been suggested (Doyle 1999). Lusistemon, also with striate pollen (but with different anther insertion and arrangement) from deposits in Portugal of about the same age, seems to be related (Pedersen et al. 2007). Indeed, there are a number of distinctive tricolpate-striate pollen types also perhaps assignable to plants of this relationship that are widely distributed in early Cretaceous rocks (Pedersen et al. 2007 and references). Krutzsch (1989) discussed the later pollen record of the family, which is widespread in the northern hemisphere in the early Tertiary.
"Pistillode +, nectariferous" is provisionally placed as an apomorphy of the family; Köhler (2006) noted that in two of the three genera of the Sarcococceae there was a pistillode, and also that the nectary was central.
Pollination Biology & Seed Dispersal. Members of Buxeae are myrmecochorous (Lengyel et al. 2010).
Chemistry, Morphology, etc. Buxus often has fibre strands in stem. All genera (but Styloceras is unknown) have three vascular bundles in the upper part of the petiole.
The carpellate flowers have spirally inserted parts, but the basical floral construction of the family is perhaps dimerous. As von Balthazar and Endress (2002a) show, interpretation of inflorescence morphology is not easy, indeed, the nature of the paired "bracts" (?prophylls?) below the carpellate flowers of Buxus is particularly unclear. The perianth parts have a single vascular bundle (von Balthazar and Endress 2002a). Some species of Buxus have distinctive pollen with two or more orae per colpus that is rather like that of Didymelaceae; pollen in the family is very variable (Köhler 2006 for references). Both Styloceras and Pachysandra have subdivided carpels; the relative positions of the carpels and perianth is unclear (Wiger 1935).
Haptanthus has parietal placentation and odd staminate flowers that were originally described as consisting of a single stamen (Goldberg & Nelson S. 1989). However, there are two stamens each with two thecae attached their length to an elliptic structure with a single arcuate vascular bundle (?very broad filament; ?prophyll - the former is the preferred interpretaion, see Shipunov & Oskolski 2011); the endothecium is massive (Doust & Stevens 2005), as it is in Styloceras, the genus most similar to Haptanthus (Shipunov & Oskolski 2011). The staminate flowers are borne in a two-ranked arrangement along the two branches of the inflorescence, the carpellate flower being central; this inflorescence is unlike any others in angiosperms, although the first/central flowers in cymose inflorescences in Euphorbia-Euphorbiaceae, for example, may be the only carpellate flower in the inflorescence.
For additional information: nectary types, see Vogel (1998b), for fossil pollen, Doyle (1999), for inflorescence morphology, von Balthazar and Endress (2001, 2002a), for floral morphology, von Balthazar and Endress (2001, esp. 2002b), and for a general summary, see Köhler (2006).
Phylogeny. For relationships in the family, see von Balthazar et al. (2000), von Balthazar and Endress (2002b), and Shipunov and Shipunova (2011); the latter found that Haptanthus was sister to Buxeae in maximum likelihood but not maximum parsimony analyses.
Previous Relationships. In the past, Buxaceae were often associated with Euphorbiaceae s.l. (e.g. Cronquist 1981). When the very distinctive Haptanthus was first described, it was not even assigned to a family. Shipunov (2003) placed Haptanthaceae in his Violales (= Malpighiales here), close to Salicaceae and Lacistemataceae (see also Goldberg & Alden 2005), probably because of its parietal placentation.