The phylogenetic relationships of Entada (Fabaceae) were examined to determine if two distinct species occur in Japan. Nucleotide sequences of the trnK and trnL introns and the intergenic spacer of trnL-trnF of cpDNA resolved 19 haplotypes among 39 widely collected samples of E. phaseoloides-like plants. In the resultant tree, two distinct clades corresponded to two groups also distinguished by diagnostic seed characters. The clades agree with the expected chorology of samples and with the diagnostic morphology from previous taxonomic work. One clade corresponds to Entada phaseoloides and the other to E. tonkinensis. A distinctive concentration of haplotypes was observed. Although seeds of Entada phaseoloides are renowned as sea drift seeds, our results do not suggest frequent gene flow caused by long distance seed dispersal.
Two species of Entada are confirmed to occur in the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. One, E. phaseoloides, occurs in tropical to subtropical Asia, on Pacific islands and in northeastern Australia. The second species, E. tonkinensis, ranges from the Ryukyu Islands through northern Taiwan and southeastern China to northern Vietnam. Descriptions and keys are provided for the two species, as well as for E. rheedii and E. parvifolia which is sometimes confused with E. phaseoloides.
Plants recognized as Liparis koreana (Nakai) Nakai ex W.T. Lee (Orchidaceae) in Japan and Korea is morphologically distinct from the type specimen of that species in the following points: flowers sparsely arranged (vs. closely arranged in the type); apex of anther cap mucronate (vs. beaked), lateral sepals twisting and enfolding the lip (vs. extending to the apex of the lip). Since these plants do not correspond with any known species, it is described as a new species, Liparis koreojaponica. The taxonomic status of L. koreana is reviewed.
A new species, Neottia inagakii Yagame, Katsuy. & T. Yukawa, is described from the Tanzawa Mountains, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Neottia inagakii is morphologically similar to N. kiusiana but can be distinguished by the smaller and nearly closed flower, the adaxially folded, 2- or 3-lobed epichile of the lip, the erect anther lacking a filament, and the cylindrical column.
A new species of Podostemaceae subfamily Podostemoideae, Ledermanniella ntemensis, is described from southwestern Cameroon. It is characterized by the sparse scales on the shoot branches and the three stigmas.
Stopesia alveolata gen. et sp. nov., a fossil seed of Trimeniaceae from the Lower Cretaceous Yezo Group of Hokkaido, northern Japan, is described. Stopesia alveolata differs from extant seeds of Trimenia in its well-developed endosperm and absence of antiraphal vascular bundle, while it shares such seed coat characters as the multilayered stony exotesta with an alveolate surface, a parenchymatous mesotesta, and the operculate inner integument.
The flowers and floral phenology in the closely allied Tricyrtis maculata (s. str.) (Liliaceae) from Nepal and T esquirolii (s. str.) from China were compared. The flowers of the two species proved to be adichogamous (homogamous), as their stigmas and anthers mature simultaneously. In T. maculata, the practical duration for pollination of each flower is approximately one day. The distal stigmatic branchlets of the style are comparatively short, and the stigmas are conduplicate and open. In T. esquirolii, the flowers are open for two days. The stigmatic branchlets are moderately long, and the stigmas are closed along the suture, as in many other species of Tricyrtis with dichogamous (protandrous) flowers. The characteristics of the flowers of T. maculata as noted above appear to be more advanced than those of T. esquirolii. The adichogamous flowers of T. esquirolii are presumed to have originated from protandrous flowers.
Mizutania riccardioides Furuki & Z. Iwatsuki is unique in having an irregularly-branched, unistratose plant body (thallus). Although the resemblance between thalli of Mizutania and some fern gametophytes has been noted, the mode of development of the irregularly branching thalli of Mizutania has not yet been clarified. We examined the developmental morphology of thallus branching, focusing on the behavior of the apical meristem, which usually has a single apical cell that functions as an initial cell. When branched, the branch apical cells arise in the young merophytes derived from the original apical cell. This mode of branch apical cell formation is not unique and is found in other liverworts, but in M. riccardioides some branch apical cells stop dividing and disappear through periclinal divisions soon after initiation, while others give rise normally to branch thalli. Which branch apical cells are lost and which are retained as initial cells appears to be arbitrary. Furthermore, the apical cell in the growing branch thallus sometimes abruptly ceases to function and forms small branch thalli with fully differentiated non-meristematic cells. In conclusion, the arbitrary loss of apical cell activity and differences in duration and/or onset of the timing of branch apical cell activity results in highly irregularly shaped thalli.