Journal Article

Floral Development in the Tribe Cedreleae (Meliaceae, Sub-family Swietenioideae): <i>Cedrela</i> and <i>Toona</i>

Cantídio Fernando Gouvêa, Marcelo Carnier Dornelas and Adriana Pinheiro Martinelli Rodriguez

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 101, issue 1, pages 39-48
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online November 2007 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI:
Floral Development in the Tribe Cedreleae (Meliaceae, Sub-family Swietenioideae): Cedrela and Toona

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Background and Aims

Floral development of Cedrela and Toona, the genera comprising the basal tribe Cedreleae of the sub-family Swietenioideae of Meliaceae, is described. The focus was on three endangered, ecologically and economically important species: Cedrela fissilis, Cedrela odorata and Toona ciliata. The aims of the study were to characterize the patterns of floral development in the tribe and to establish apomorphic and plesiomorphic floral characters in relation to other taxa within the family based on the current molecular phylogeny of Meliaceae.


A detailed floral structural and developmental study was completed using both scanning electron microscopy and visualization of microtome sections with a light microscope.

Key Results

Twelve floral developmental stages were identified. The initial development of the pentamerous flowers of both Toona and Cedrela is strikingly similar. The morphological differences observed between them are due to differential patterns of organ elongation and adnation/connation occurring late in development. Additionally, the formation of functionally male and female flowers was found to occur at specific positions within the inflorescence.


Due to the basal position of the tribe Cedreleae in the phylogeny of Meliaceae, functionally either male or female pentamerous flowers and the presence of (at least partially) free stamens may be considered plesiomorphic traits within the family. In contrast, sympetaly and the absence of nectaries in Cedrela species are synapomorphies.

Keywords: Cedrela fissilis; Cedrela odorata; floral development; morpho-anatomy; sex distribution; Toona ciliata

Journal Article.  5801 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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