TURKISH JOURNAL OF BOTANY, vol.35, no.6, pp.653-662, 2011 (SCI-Expanded)
The fruit and seed morphologies of 6 species previously placed in the genus Malcolmia W.T.Aiton were examined with stereomicroscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in order to determine the significance of fruit and seed features as taxonomic characters. This study presents macro- and micromorphological characters, including fruit and seed shape, size, colour, fruiting pedicel size, fruit hair and density, seed coat pattern, epidermal cell shape, and anticlinal and periclinal cell walls. The results showed that the morphological characteristics of the fruit and seed could be used as criteria to distinguish genera and tribes. The investigated features of specimens indicated that Malcolmia chia (L.) DC. and M.flexuosa (Sikh. & Sm.) Sibth. & Sm. should remain in the genus that belongs to the tribe Anastaticeae. Malcolmia crenulata (DC.) Boiss. and M. exacoides (DC.) Spreng. belong to the genus Zuvanda (Dvorak) Askerova of the tribe Conringieae. Finally, Malcolmia africana (L.) W.T.Aiton and M. intermedia C.A.Mey. belong to the genus Strigosella Boiss. of the tribe Euclidieae. A key is provided for the identification of the investigated species based on fruit and seed characters.