Pachycauly, vessel-elements, islands and the evolution of arborescence in ‘herbaceous’ families


*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The literature on pachycaul wood anatomy is reviewed. A simple mathematical proof discrediting Carlquist's ‘Theory of paedomorphosis in dicotyledonous woods’ is presented. In contrast to Carlquist's notion of juvenile wood patterns in mature pachycaul plants, it is shown that the narrow‐pithed leptocauls have wood patterns much like those of the juvenile stages of pachycauls. Leptocauls do not become pachycaul on islands; arborescent plants in ‘herbaceous’ families on islands are more easily explained as derived from pachycaul microspermous ancestors undergoing tree‐building in isolation from competition on the continents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977-984
Number of pages8
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1974
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Pachycauly, vessel-elements, islands and the evolution of arborescence in ‘herbaceous’ families'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this