Petiole and leaf anatomy of species of the genus Rhus s. str. (Anacardiaceae)
AbstractFoliar and petiole anatomy of 33 species of Rhus s. str. is described with the main objective of evaluating anatomical traits to support its infrageneric classification. The results support the existing Rhus s. str. infrageneric classification. The subgenus Rhus, with a vascular system type I and more than ten layers of collenchyma and wide pith in the petiole may be readily separated from subgenus Lobadium. In turn, section Terebinthifolia shows two to four vessel elements, collenchymatic sheath surrounding the vascular bundles and gelatinous fibers, while section Styphonia presents a thick cuticle (6 µm), papillose epidermal cells, two layers of palisade parenchyma and sclerenchyma in xylem and phloem. The occurrence of sclerenchyma in section Styphonia is correlated with the persistent character of its leaves. Some of the foliar traits mentioned are undoubtedly related with the radiation events of Rhus s. str. that took place in Mexico.
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