Original Research

Leaf anatomy of the genus Ehrharta (Poaceae) in southern Africa: the Setacea group

R. P. Ellis
Bothalia | Vol 17, No 1 | a1017 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v17i1.1017 | © 1987 R. P. Ellis | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 October 1987 | Published: 23 October 1987

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R. P. Ellis, Botanical Research Institute, Department of Agriculture and Water Supply, South Africa

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The leaf blade anatomy of the taxa of the Setacea group of species of the genus Ehrharta is described and illustrated. This group includes E. rupestris Nees ex Trin. subsp.  rupestris, subsp.  tricostata (Stapf) Gibbs Russell and subsp.  dodii (Stapf) Gibbs Russell, as well as E. setacea Nees subsp.  setacea, subsp.  scabra (Stapf) Gibbs Russell, subsp.  uniflora (Burch, ex Stapf) Gibbs Russell and subsp.  disticha Gibbs Russell. All these taxa share a very characteristic leaf anatomy with inrolled or infolded leaves without keels and have adaxial ribs with interlocking prickles. The chlorenchyma is dense and compact with inwardly projecting invaginations visible in all taxa except  E. setacea subsp.  setacea. In E .  setacea subsp. scabra typical arm cells are present. Abaxial costal and intercostal zones are not differentiated and stomata are absent. The long cells are hexagonal or inflated with sinuous walls. Silica bodies are single or paired and rounded in shape. Small hook-like prickles with short barbs are common. Microhairs with a short, truncated distal cell occur. This leaf anatomical structure differs considerably from that of the other species groups recognized in African  Ehrharta and the Setacea group appears to be more distinct from the other groups than they are from each other.


arm cells. Capensis floral kingdom; <i>Ehrharta</i>; <i>E. rupestris</i>; <i>E. setacea</i>; leaf anatomy; Poaceae; southern Africa; systematics


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