Stangeria T. Moore, Hook. Kew J. 5: 228 (1853)
commemorating Dr Max Stanger, Surveryor General of Natal province,
South Africa. Type: S. eriopus
The type genus of the family Stangeriaceae
1 species, Southern Africa: Stangeria eriopus
- Leaves pinnate
- Leaflets with a midrib and lateral veins
- Leaflets not articulated
- Sporophylls in vertical rows in cones
Habit: dioecious fern-like shrubs with a naked often dichotomously
branched subterranean stem. New leaves emerging singly.
Leaves: pinnate, longitudinal ptyxis involute, horizontal ptyxis
involute. Leaflets with circinate ptyxis and often a true terminal
leaflet, lower leaflets not reduced to spines. Petioles lacking spines or prickles.
Leaflets flat, penniveined, with a large midrib and numerous subparallel, bifurcating
lateral veins and stomata on both surfaces. Leaves pubescent,
at least when young, with coloured or transparent, unbranched
Microsporophylls: spirally orthostichous, aggregated into stalked,
ovoid male cones and each with a simple,
flattened, broadly triangular, upturned and overlapping sterile apex.
Each microsporophyll bearing numerous microsporangia (pollen-sacs)
on the undersurface. Microsporangia opening by slits. Pollen cymbiform,
Megasporophylls: spirally orthostichous, aggregated into stalked,
ovoid female cones. Sporophylls simple,
with a broadly flattened, upturned sterile apex.
Ovules two (rarely three), sessile, orthotropous,
inserted on the inner (axisfacing) surface of the thickened lamina
and directed inwards ("inverted"). Sporophylls
in about 8 ranks, the expanded ends overlapping.
Seeds: subglobular to ellipsoidal, with a dark red
sarcotesta. Endosperm haploid, derived from the
female gametophyte. Embryo straight; with 2 cotyledons that are
usually united at the tips and a very long, spirally twisted suspensor.
Seeds radiospermic; germination cryptocotular.