Morphological varia tions of fertile spik e in Helminthostachys zeylanica (L.) Hook
AbstractThe evolutionary history of Ophioglossaceae is enigmatic mainly because fossils of the family trace back only from the earliest Tertiary. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that Helminthostachys is sister to the broadly defined Botrychium. Generally the sporophore of Botrychium is a pinnately compound, whereas it is simple in Helminthostachys. Here examples of different Helminthoistachys are represented which show double or triple spikes with some variations. Plants showing variations in their spike morphology are also grown normally. Variations of Helminthostachys spike morphology indicate a tendency to form a compound sporophore structure and in that way have a strong relationship with Botrychium.
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