bracteoles - good definition needed
Mon, 01 Oct 2007 09:58:04 PDT
"JohnRCrellin" <> wrote:

> Following this up - the same book has a spathe defined as an "ensheathing
> bract" - isn't it this structure the allium books are referring to ? 

Typically in Allium, the structure that envelopes the buds is referred to as a spathe, and the separate parts it splits into when the flower break through are refered to as the "valves".  Although I have also seen the spathe referred to as a bract in some books.  But back to bracteoles...

Please reference the Allium treatment in the online treatment in Flora Of China:…

They say about bracteoles: "Pedicels with or without basal bracteoles", so we're talking about where the skinny pedicels that hold each floret attach to the stem.  But for the life of me, I have examined so-called bracteolate species, from those that are reported as not having bracteoles, but I've never actually noticed any sort of bract-like appendage at the base.  

Perhaps they are so small to hardly be perceptible with the naked eye?  For example, for each species in FOC, the 3 nectaries in the ovary is described, but it requires stripping off the tepals and stamens and using a strong magnifying glass to actually see these little structures.  Maybe the bracteoles are a thickened basal "foot" to the pedicel where it attaches to the stem... but I'm just guessing, because I've never seen anything under close observation that would give me an "ah ha" moment, where I could recognize the difference.

In most of the large taxonomic treatments of Allium (Flora of China, Flora of Turkey, Flora of the USSR, etc.) the presence or lack of bracteoles in Allium species is mentioned.

Still baffled by bracteoles.

Mark McDonough
USDA Zone 5
Massachusetts, USA (New England)

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