First Page


Last Page



Fleshy fruits occur in several monocot orders and families, and it is generally assumed that they have been derived from capsular fruits many times during the evolution of monocot lineages. Huber hypothesized in 1969 that most capsules in Asparagales are derived secondarily from berries and that this transformation was correlated with the evolution of phytomelan-coated seeds, a pivotal character in his circumscription of Asparagales as part of reclassifying Liliaceae s.l. Dahlgren and co-workers suggested several parallel derivations and "reversals" in this character, e.g., the transformation sequence trifollicular fruits → capsules → berries→ capsules→ berries. Mapping of fleshy fruits on a phylogeny based on molecular characters indicates that Asparagales do not have fleshy fruits as a basal character. Dahlgren's "cyclic character evolution" hypothesis is not supported by the distribution of dry and fleshy fruits, and there is no obvious correlation between baccate fruits and phytomelaniferous seeds in Asparagales. Phytomelaniferous seeds are not an evident synapomorphy of Asparagales as presently circumscribed. The anatomy and development of different capsular and baccate fruits in selected genera are studied in an ongoing project to reveal homologies and establish an adequate fruit typology. Some observations of texture and dehiscence structures in dry and fleshy capsules and in typical berries from hypogynous and epigynous flowers are reported in this paper.

Rights Information

© 2006 Finn N. Rasmussen, Signe Frederiksen, Bo Johansen, Lise Bolt Jorgensen, Gitte Petersen, Ole Seberg

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Included in

Botany Commons