Recent phylogenetic analyses based on molecular markers have resulted in a solid phylogeny of Viburnum with 12 well-defined clades. This has allowed us to focus on character evolution, endocarp and seed characters in particular. Members of Viburnum bear drupes that differ considerably between clades. Characters such as pyrene shape and grooving, number of fibrous layers, seed coat anatomy, and seed rumination are phylogenetically highly valuable. Our results largely agree with the results based on molecular data and provide several additional insights. The position of V. clemensae as sister to the rest of Viburnum is supported by several characters. The early diversification of V. clemensae might explain its highly derived features. Furthermore, our results give an indication of the possible paraphyly of the Megalotinus clade, confirm the paraphyly of Hara’s section Solenotinus, and support the split of Hara’s section Odontotinus into four well-defined clades. Endocarp and seed characters are mainly useful at the level of individual clades. Several characters, however, are useful at higher taxonomic levels. The presence of small, amorphous crystals in the endosperm, for example, is most likely to be apomorphic for Viburnum within the order Dipsacales.
National Museum of Natural History, Netherlands
Article / Letter to the editor