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Free Content On the Morphology and Anatomy of Turtle Grass, Thalassia Testudinum (Hydrocharitaceae). III. Floral Morphology and Anatomy

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Flowers in Thalassia are restricted to the axil of a foliage leaf on a short-shoot. Plants may be dioecious with a preponderance of male over female flowers in the ratio 12 : 1. Female flowers are usually solitary; male flowers are in clusters of up to five. In any one season a single short-shoot will have only one fertile foliage leaf, so that a series of developmental stages is not available in one short-shoot. Flowers are subtended by a pair of bracts, fused to make a two-lobed spathe; the individual flowers are strictly one-flowered inflorescences.

Male flowers have three tepals, 8 to 13 stamens, and no pistillode. Female flowers have three tepals and an inferior ovary. This is interpreted as being made up of from 6 to 9 carpels of which a number are sterile. Fertile carpels include only one ovule. This gynoecium is therefore more reduced and specialized than in other Hydrocharitaceae. Pollination is entirely submarine, but the mechanism is not yet understood.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1969-06-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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