Maria Morozowska

Poznań University of Life Sciences

Agata Woźnicka

Poznań University of Life Sciences

Marcin Kujawa

Adam Mickiewicz University


The paper presents the results of the study on fruit and seed morphology and anatomy of some chosen species of Hydrangeaceae. Fruit micromorphology, seed shape and size, seed coat pattern, testa thickness, and endosperm cells were investigated in Hydrangea heteromalla, H. paniculata, Philadelphus californicus, P. delavayi, P. incanus, P. inodorus, P. pubescens var. verrucosus, P. tenuifolius, Deutzia compacta, D. rubens, and D. scabra. Differences of potential taxonomic significance were found in the ornamentation of the fruit and the pistil surface in the Hydrangea species. The examined seeds were characterized by reticulate primary sculpture with different size and shape of the testa cells. The protrusive secondary sculpture was observed on the Hydrangea seeds. The seeds of the Philadelphus species were characterized by the rugate secondary sculpture. The seeds of the Deutzia species had sunken secondary sculpture of different patterns and these differentiations are of systematic importance. The endosperm cell walls were very thin in the Hydrangea and Philadelphus seeds, while they were evenly thick in the Deutzia seeds. That difference may be of systematic importance. The average thickness of the two-layered testa was 3.51–11.50 μm. Its inner and outer layers thickness varied from 2.27–9.25 μm and 1.24–4.05 μm, respectively. Most of the differences were found to be significant.


fruit micromorphology, seed sculpture, testa, endosperm cells

Albach D. C., Soltis P.S., Soltis D.E., Olmstead R.G., 2001. Phylogenetic analysis of asterids based on sequences of four genes. Ann. Miss. Bot. Gard., 88, 163–212.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, 2009. An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 161, 105–121.
Barthlott W., 1981. Epidermal and seed surface characters of plants: systematic applicability and some evolutionary aspects. Nord. J. Bot., 1, 345–355.
Barthlott W., 1984. Microstructural features of seed surfaces. In: Heywood V. H., Moore D. M., eds. Current concepts in plant taxonomy. Academic. London, 95–105.
Bojňanský V., Fargašová A., 2007. Atlas of Seeds and Fruits of Central and East-European Flora. The Carpathian Mountains Region. Springer. Dordrecht.
Chase M.W., Soltis D.E., Olmstead R.G., Morgan D., Les D.H., Mishler B.D., Duvall M.R., et al. 1993. Phylogenetics of seed plants: an analysis of nucleotide sequences from the plastid gene rbcL. Ann. Miss. Bot. Gard., 80, 528–580.
Hinkley D., 2003. A Plantsman’s observations on the genus Hydrangea. Davidsonia vol. 14(2), 31–58.
Huang S., Hideaki O., Shinobu A., 2001. Deutzia. Philadelphus. In: Flora of China. 8, 379–403.
Hufford L., 1995. Seed morphology of Hydrangeaceae and ist phylogenetic implications. Int. J. Plant Sci., 156 (4), 555–580.
Hufford L., 1997. A phylogenetic analysis of Hydrangeaceae based on morphological data. Int. J. Plant Sci., 158 (5), 652–672.
Hufford L., 2004. Hydrangeaceae. In: Kubitzky K., eds. The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants Vol. 6. Flowering Plants: Dicotyledons: Celastrales, Oxidales, Rosales, Cornales, Ericales. Springer-Verlag. New York, 202–215.
Hufford L., Moody M.L., Soltis D.E., 2001. A phylogenetic analysis of Hydrangeaceae based on sequences of the plastid gene matK and their combination with rbcL and morphological data. Int. J. Plant Sci., 162 (4), 835–846.
Johnson L.A., Huish K.H., Porter J.M., 2004. Seed surface sculpturing and its systematic significance in Gilia (Polemoniaceae) and segregate generea. Int. J. Plant Sci., 165, 153–172.
Krach J.E., 1977. Seed Characters in and Affinities Among the Saxifragineae. Plant. Syst. Evol., Suppl. 1, 141–153.
Molvray M.P., Kores P. J., 1995. Character analysis of the seed coat in the Spiranthoideae and Orchidoideae, with special reference to the Diurideae (Orchidaceae). Amer. J. Bot., 82, 1443–1454.
Morozowska M., Czarna A., Kujawa M., Jagodziński A.M., 2011. Seed morphology and endosperm structure of selected species of Primulaceae, Myrsinaceae, and Theophrastaceae and their systematic importance. Plant Syst. Evol., 291, 159–172.
Nemirovich-Danchenko E.N., Lobova T.A., 1998. The seed coat structure in some representatives of the order Hydrangeales. Bot. Zhurn. Moscow – Leningrad 83 (6), 1–9. (in Russian).
Netolitzky F., 1926. Anatomie der Angiospermen-Samen. In: Linsbauer K., eds. Handbuch der Pflanzenanatomie. Berlin. Bd. 10. Heft 11, 152.
Oh I.-C., Anderberg A.-L., Schönenberger J., Anderberg A. A., 2008. Comparative seed morphology and character evolution in the genus Lysimachia (Myrsinaceae) and related taxa. Plant Syst. Evol., 271 (3–4), 177–197.
Olmstead R.G., Bremer B., Scott K.M., Palmer J.D., 1993. A parsimony analysis of Asteridae sensu lato based on rbcL sequences. Ann. Mo. Bot. Gard., 80, 700–722.
Olmstead R.G., Kim K.-J., Jansen R.K., Wagstaff S.J., 2000. The phylogeny of Asteridae sensu lato based on chloroplast ndhF gene sequences. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 16, 96–112.
Reed M.S., 2004. Self-incompatibility and time of stigma receptivity in two species of Hydrangea. Hort Science 2, 312–315.
Rinehart T.A., Reed M.S., 2008. Using SSR Markers to Estimate Diversity Among Hydrangea Germplasm and Improve Breeding of New Cultivars. Inter. Symp. on Woody Ornamentals of the Temp. Zone, 72.
Savolainen V., Chase M.W., Hoot S.B., Morton C.M., Soltis D.E., Bayer C., Fay M.F., deBruijn A.Y., Sullivan S., Qiu Y.-L., 2000. Phylogenetics of flowering plants based on combined analysis of plastid atpB and rbcL sequences. Syst. Biol., 49, 306–362.
Seneta W., 1996. Drzewa i krzewy liściaste. D-H. Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN. Warszawa. 27–43, 308–324. (in Polish).
Soltis D.E., Xiang Q.-Y., Hufford L., 1995. Relationships and evolution of Hydrangeaceae based on rbcL sequence data. Amer. J. Bot., 82, 504–514.
Soltis D.E., Soltis P.S., Chase M.W., Mort M.E., Albach D.C., Zanis M., Savolainen V., 2000. Angiosperm phylogeny inferred from a combined data set of 18S rDNA, rbcL, and atpB sequences. Bot. J. Linn. Soc., 133, 381–461.
Takhtajan A., 1997. Diversity and classification of flowering plants. Columbia University Press. New York.
Watanabe H.T., Ando T., Nishino E., Kokubun H., Tsukamoto T., Hashimoto G., Marchesi E., 1999. Three groups of species in Petunia sensu Jussieu (Solanaceae) inferred from the intact seed. Amer. J. Bot., 86, 302–305.
Wei Z., Bartholomew B., 2001. Hydrangea. In: Flora of China. 8, 411–422.
Xiang Q.-Y., 1999. Systematic affinities of Grubbiaceae and Hydrostachyaceae within Cornales – insights from rbcL sequences. Harv. Pap. Bot., 4, 527–542.


Maria Morozowska 
Poznań University of Life Sciences
Agata Woźnicka 
Poznań University of Life Sciences
Marcin Kujawa 
Adam Mickiewicz University



Articles are made available under the conditions CC BY 4.0 (until 2020 under the conditions CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
Submission of the paper implies that it has not been published previously, that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

The author signs a statement of the originality of the work, the contribution of individuals, and source of funding.