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Wood and Bark Anatomy of Caricaceae; Correlations with Systematics and Habit

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Wood and bark anatomy are described for four species of three genera of Caricaceae; both root and stem material were available for Jacaratia hassleriana. Wood of all species lacks libriform fibers in secondary xylem, and has axial parenchyma instead. Cylicomorpha parviflora has paratracheal parenchyma cells with thin lignified walls; otherwise, all cell walls of secondary xylem in Caricaceae except those of vessels have only primary walls. Vessels have alternate laterally elongate (pseudoscalariform) pits on vessel-vessel interfaces, but wide, minimally bordered scalariform pits on vessel-parenchyma contacts. Laticifers occur commonly in tangential plates in fascicular secondary xylem, and rarely in xylem rays. Proliferation of axial parenchyma by zones of tangential divisions is newly reported for the family. Bark is diverse in the species, although some features (e.g., druses) are common to all. Wood of Caricaceae is compared to that of two species of Moringaceae, recently designated the sister family of Caricaceae. Although the wood and bark of Moringa oleifera, a treelike species, differ from those of Caricaceae, wood and bark of the stem succulent M. hildebrandtii, the habit of which resembles those in Caricaceae, simulate wood and bark of Caricaceae closely. Counterparts to laticifers in Moringaceae are uncertain, however. Phloem fibers of Caricaceae form an expansible peripheral cylinder of mechanical tissue that correlates with the stem succulence of most species of Caricaceae.


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