Comparative investigations on fruit microcharacters of four species of Hieracium L. (Asteraceae) and their taxonomic significance
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Abstract: In order to evaluate taxonomic implications of fruit or cypsela, detail macro as well as micro-morphology and anatomy in four species belonging to the genus Hieracium L. of the tribe Cichorieae, family Asteraceae have been investigated. Analysis revealed that in comparison to shape, size and colour of cypsela, surface features like markings, presence or absence of rib and their number along with carpopodium diversity were taxonomically more significant characters. Among anatomical features, mesocarpic characters, distribution of vascular trace and vallecular canal, and nature of testal layer were found to be diacritical for the studied species. These morphological and anatomical features of cypsela can be used as species determining characters in the genus Hieracium L. Finally, involving all these features of cypselaan artificial diagnostic key to the four studied species namely Hieraciumneopinnatifidum Pugsley, H.pilosella L., H. semigothiciforme Zahn and H. umbellatum L. is constructed. This can be used as reference key to identify taxa solely based on its fruit.
Fig.: Comparative investigations on fruit microcharacters of four species of Hieracium L. (Asteraceae).