Comparative morphology and physiology of fruit and seed development in the two shrubs Rhus aromatica and R. Glabra (Anacardiaceae)

Xiaojie Li, Jerry M. Baskin, Carol C. Baskin

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17 Scopus citations


Morphology and physiology of fruit and seed development were compared in Rhus aromatica and R. glabra (Anacardiaceae), both of which produce drupes with water-impermeable endocarps. Phenology of flowering/fruiting of the two species at the study site was separated by ~2 mo. However, they were similar in the timetable and pattern of fruit and seed development; it took ~2 mo and ~1.5 mo for flowers of Rhus aromatica and R. glabra, respectively, to develop into mature drupes. The single sigmoidal growth curve for increase in fruit size and in dry mass of these two species differs from the double-sigmoidal one described for typical commercial drupes such as peach and plum. Order of attainment of maximum size was fruit and endocarp (same time), seed coat, and embryo. By the time fruits turned red, the embryo had reached full size and become germinable; moisture content of seed plus endocarp had decreased to ~40%. The endocarp was the last fruit component to reach physiological maturity, which coincided with development of its impermeability and a seed plus endocarp moisture content of <10%. At this time, ~50, 37, and 13% of the dry mass of the drupe was allocated to the exocarp plus mesocarp unit, endocarp, and seed, respectively. The time course of fruit and seed development in these two species is much faster than that reported for other Anacardiaceae, including Rhus lancea, Protorhus, and Pistacia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1217-1225
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Botany
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1999


  • Anacardiaceae
  • Embryo germinability
  • Endocarp impermeability
  • Fruit development
  • Mass allocation to fruit components
  • Rhus aromatica
  • Rhus glabra
  • Seed development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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