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The Anatomy of PalmsArecaceae - Palmae$
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P. Barry Tomlinson, James W. Horn, and Jack B. Fisher

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558926

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199558926.001.0001

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Palm Construction and Classification

Palm Construction and Classification

Chapter:
(p.12) Chapter 2 Palm Construction and Classification
Source:
The Anatomy of Palms
Author(s):

P. Barry Tomlinson

James W. Horn

Jack B. Fisher

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199558926.003.0002

This chapter first considers the uniqueness of palms followed by a synopsis of the palm family. It then discusses the habit of palms covering establishment growth, seedling roots, branching, rhizomes, and flowering. It shows that the constraints on habit of exclusively primary growth have been overcome in many ingenious ways by palms. Fundamentally, palm axes are monopodial in organization in contrast to most other woody and tree-like monocotyledons, which can be continuously sympodial in development as in Pandanaceae, Dracaena, and Cordyline, and with or without secondary growth. The monopodial palm habit is presumably ancestral and combined with lignified stems produces physiognomically distinctive trees. Most remarkable of all is that they have been claimed to be the longest-lived of all woody plants because their fully differentiated stem cells of many types remain metabolically active longer than in any other seed plant.

Keywords:   palms, vegetative anatomy, palm family, habit, palm axes

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