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– Definition and Function of Staminode:
– In botany, staminode is a sterile or abortive stamen.
– Staminodes do not produce pollen.
– They are often inconspicuous and stamen-like.
– Staminodes can protrude from the corolla in some cases.
– Occasionally, staminodes are modified to produce nectar.

– Location and Appearance of Staminode:
– Staminodes typically occur at the inner whorl of the flower.
– They can be long enough to extend beyond the corolla.
– In some species like Cannas, staminodes are more prominent than petals.
– Staminodes in witch hazel (Hamamelis) are known for nectar production.
– Staminodes in Grinnells Penstemon (Penstemon grinellii) flowers are hairy.

– Importance of Staminode in Taxonomy:
– Staminodes are crucial for species differentiation.
Orchid genus Paphiopedilum relies on staminodes for classification.
– Among penstemons, staminodes play a significant role in identification.
– Staminodes in Cannas are visually striking petal-like structures.
– Couroupita guianensis, also known as the cannonball tree, showcases a remarkable staminode.

– Examples of Staminode in Nature:
– The cannonball tree (Couroupita guianensis) exhibits a striking staminode.
– Staminodes in witch hazel (Hamamelis) serve nectar-producing functions.
Orchid genus Paphiopedilum showcases distinct staminodes.
– Staminodes in Cannas are visually appealing petal-like structures.
– Grinnells Penstemon (Penstemon grinellii) features hairy staminodes.

– References:
– Jackson, Benjamin, Daydon; A Glossary of Botanic Terms with their Derivation and Accent; Published by Gerald Duckworth & Co. London, 4th ed 1928.
– Jin lu mei shu. Hamamelis Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 124. 1753. Flora of China 9: 32. 2003.

Staminode (Wikipedia)

In botany, a staminode is an often rudimentary, sterile or abortive stamen, which means that it does not produce pollen. Staminodes are frequently inconspicuous and stamen-like, usually occurring at the inner whorl of the flower, but are also sometimes long enough to protrude from the corolla.

The arrow points to the hairy staminode of a Grinnell's Penstemon (Penstemon grinellii) flower

Sometimes, the staminodes are modified to produce nectar, as in the witch hazel (Hamamelis).

Staminodes can be a critical characteristic for differentiating between species, for instance in the orchid genus Paphiopedilum, and among the penstemons.

In the case of Cannas, the petals are inconsequential and the staminodes are refined into eye-catching petal-like replacements.

A spectacular example of staminode is given by Couroupita guianensis, a tropical tree growing in South America also known as cannonball tree.

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