Studies on palms: fruits, seeds and seed germination in the genus Phoenix L.

Biradar, N. V. ; Mahabalé, T. S. (1968) Studies on palms: fruits, seeds and seed germination in the genus Phoenix L. Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Section B, 70 (2). pp. 55-65. ISSN 0370-0097

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The paper gives an account of the morphology and anatomy of fruits, seeds and their germination in the genus Phoenix. The fruit is an oblong, 1-seeded berry, yellowish-black to dark purple in colour. The seed is hard and stony, grooved on ventral side. Embryo lies dorsally opposite the groove. Germination is hypogeal, eligulate and remotive. Many palm fruits and seeds are found in the Tertiary deposits of different countries and are called "Palmocarpon" (Reid and Chandler, 1933). For identifying them, a thorough knowledge of the anatomy of fruits and seeds in living genera is essential (Mahabale, 1950). With this aim in view, anatomy of different palms such asNypa, Hyphaene, Sabal, Caryota, Cocos, Licuala, Rhapis, Ptychosperma, Livistona, etc., has been investigated at this Department. The present paper describes the anatomy of fruit in six species of Phoenix as seen in T.S. passing through the middle part of mature fruit and seed. It was found that fruit and seed anatomy shows many reliable characters which can be used for differentiating species within the genus Phoenix. A key based on them has been given here. In 1914 Berry (1914) described a fossil fruit "Phoenicites occidentalis". It seems to be closely similar to that in P. dactylifera and large-fruited varieties of P. sylvestris in point of fruit and seed characters.

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