Micromorphology and anatomy of the flowers of Galanthus nivalis and Leucojum vernum (Amaryllidaceae)

  • O. S. Fishchuk Lesya Ukrainka Eastern European National University
  • A. V. Odintsova Ivan Franko National University of Lviv
Keywords: nectary; fruit morphogenesis; anther dehiscence; buzz-pollination.


We studied the structure of flowers of Galanthus nivalis and Leucojum vernum using cross-sections and longitudal sections of permanent preparations using a light microscope. Genera Galanthus and Leucojum belong to the Galantheae tribe characterized by a unique combination of features of the family Amaryllidaceae, i.e. absence of septal nectaries, poricidal anthers and fruit – fleshy capsule. Both species are represented in the flora of Ukraine and have the life form of bulb ephemeroid of decidous forests. Microscopic surveys of flowers are considered as an instrument for determining yet unknown structural adaptations of plants to specialized ways of pollination and determining the first stages of morphogenesis of fruit, because many features of the fruit appear already at the stage of flower. We determined that the tepals of both studied species have multi-bundle traces of 8–9 vascular bundles. Apical dehiscence of the anthers occurs due to short longitudinal sutures in the upper part of the anthers. The nectar disk on the roof of the inferior ovary is poorly differentiated, and has no vascular bundles. We associate the indicated peculiarities of the flower structure with the offer of pollen as the main reward of the pollinator during buzz-polination, which has not reported for the studied species. Placentation is axile in the lower part of the ovary and parietal in the upper one. We consider that the gynoecium of the studied species is eusyncarpous. The vascular system of the inferior ovary is composed of three dorsal and three septal veins, paired ventral bundles of carpels, which form the traces of ovules, and also small additional bundles in the wall of the ovary. For the first time, we have determined the presence of airy parenchyma in the ovules, ovary roof, the style and anthers’ connectives and have confirmed their presence in the tepals and the wall of the ovary at the stage of flowering. We found differentiation of the mesocarp into photosynthesizing and airy parenchyma, small sizes of cells of the endocardium in the area of the dorsal vein, bifurcate dorsal bundles of the carpels, which could be considered as adaptation of different stages of morphogenesis of fruit to dehiscence. Anatomical peculiarities of the ovaries of G. nivalis and L. vernum: numerous vascular bundles in the pericarp, thick parenchyma mesocarp with air-filled cavities, non-lignified endocarp at the stage of the flower we consider adaptations to the formation of fleshy fruit. The new data we obtained on the anatomical structure of the flowers is a significant addition of information about anthecological and carpological (post-anthetic) peculiarities of the surveyed species.


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How to Cite
Fishchuk, O. S., & Odintsova, A. V. (2020). Micromorphology and anatomy of the flowers of Galanthus nivalis and Leucojum vernum (Amaryllidaceae) . Regulatory Mechanisms in Biosystems, 11(3), 463–468. https://doi.org/10.15421/022071