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Quantitative and qualitative data are presented for seven species of four genera of Resedaceae. Newly reported for the family are helical striations in vessels, vasicentric and marginal axial parenchyma, procumbent ray cells, and perforated ray cells. Wood features of Resedaceae may be found in one or more of the families of Capparales close to it (Brassicaceae, Capparaceae, Tovariaceae). Lack of borders on pits of imperforate tracheary elements is likely a derived character state. Wood of Reseda is more nearly juvenile than that of the other genera in ray histology; this corresponds to the herbaceousness of Reseda. The quantitative features of wood of Resedaceae are intermediate between those of dicotyledonous annuals and those of dicotyledonous desert shrubs. Wood of Resedaceae appears especially xeromorphic in narrowness of vessels, a fact related to the subdesert habitats of shrubby species and to the dry conditions in which annual or short-lived perennial Resedaceae flower and fruit.

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© 1998 Sherwin Carlquist

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