Aspidistra pistil descriptions

Questions not answers.

Aspidistra pistils are sometimes very large in relation to the flower and the literature emphasises the development and elaboration of the stigma.  However, since the "style [is] a structure supporting a surface receptive to pollen, the stigma" (Bell 1998 p. 146) it may be more accurate to say that it is the style that is developed. 

Intuitively the stigma is uppermost but does it comprise the whole adaxial surface?  It seems reasonable to assume that it does in many species where the the adaxial surface is relatively uniform e.g. A. dolichanthera where the surface is small, and A. elatior where it is very large.  In species such as A. patentiloba, the adaxial surface is appressed to the rim of the perigone tube so that part of it is exposed and part obscured.  In this case, does the stigmatic surface comprise the whole of the adaxial surface or only the exposed part?  In A. guangxiensis (see drawing below) the whole adaxial surface is exposed but the surface is not uniform and there is a distinct 3-lobed structure in the centre. Is this structure the stigmatic surface? And if it is, the rest of the structure must surely be considered to be the style.

If you have any questions or comments please e-mail me at drc@globalnet.co.uk

David Constantine

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last updated 03/09/2008