Arecoideae - Morphology

Morphology

Whether as shrubs, trees, or vines, palms have two methods of growth: solitary or clustered. The common representation is that of a solitary shoot ending in a crown of leaves. This monopodial character may be exhibited by prostrate, trunkless, and trunk-forming members. Some common palms restricted to solitary growth include Washingtonia and Roystonea. Palms may instead grow in sparse though dense clusters. The trunk develops an axillary bud at a leaf node, usually near the base, from which a new shoot emerges. The new shoot, in turn, produces an axillary bud and a clustering habit results. Exclusively sympodial genera include many of the rattans, Guihaia, and Rhapis. Several palm genera have both solitary and clustering members. Palms which are usually solitary may grow in clusters, and vice versa. These aberrations suggest the habit operates on a single gene.

Palms have large, evergreen leaves that are either palmately ('fan-leaved') or pinnately ('feather-leaved') compound and spirally arranged at the top of the stem. The leaves have a tubular sheath at the base that usually splits open on one side at maturity. The inflorescence is a panicle or spike surrounded by one or more bracts or spathes that become woody at maturity. The flowers are generally small and white, radially symmetric, and can be either uni- or bisexual. The sepals and petals usually number three each, and may be distinct or joined at the base. The stamens generally number six, with filaments that may be separate, attached to each other, or attached to the pistil at the base. The fruit is usually a single-seeded drupe(sometimes berry-like) but some genera (e.g. Salacca) may contain two or more seeds in each fruit.

The Arecaceae are notable among monocots for their height and for the size of their seeds, leaves, and inflorescences. Ceroxylon quindiuense, Colombia's national tree, is the tallest monocot in the world, reaching up to 60 meters tall. The coco de mer (Lodoicea maldivica) has the largest seeds of any plant, 40–50 cm in diameter and weighing 15–30 kg each. Raffia palms (Raphia spp.) have the largest leaves of any plant, up to 25 m long and 3 m wide. The Corypha species have the largest inflorescence of any plant, up to 7.5 m tall and containing millions of small flowers. Calamus stems can reach 200 m in length.

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Other articles related to "morphology":

Morphology

Morphology may mean:

  • Morphology (linguistics), the study of the structure and content of word forms
  • Morphology (biology), the study of the form or shape of an organism or part thereof
  • Morphology (molecular), study of how the shape and form of molecules affect their chemical properties, dynamic reconfiguration and interactions
  • Morphology (astronomy), the shape of astronomical objects such as nebulae, galaxies, or other extended objects
  • Morphology (folkloristics), the structure of narratives such as folk tales
  • Geomorphology, the study of landforms
  • Mathematical morphology, a theoretical model based on lattice theory, used for digital image processing
  • Morphology (Architecture and Engineering), a research, which is based on theories of two dimensional and three dimensional symmetries, and then uses these geometries for planning buildings and structures.
  • River morphology, the field of science dealing with changes of river platform
  • Urban morphology, the study of growth and development of functions in cities
  • Morphological analysis (disambiguation)
  • Morphology (materials science), the study of shape, size, texture and phase distribution of physical objects.
  • Morphology (ideology), the study of the conceptual structure of ideologies, and the rules defining the admissibility of meanings into concepts.
  • Morphology (journal), ISSN 1871-5621
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