Simpoh Malesia

All about learning Dillenia

Monday, July 30, 2007

Fruits of Simpoh

There are 2 types of fruits that occur in the genus of Dillenia. There are the indehiscent fruits as well as the dehiscent fruits. However, it is still hard to determine which evolves first. Logically, the dehiscent fruits are assumed to be more primitive compared to those indehiscent ones. The arillate seeds as compared to ex-arillate seeds also tells us a different story on this genus. Almost all of the dehiscent fruits are covered by the red aril or soft red membrane; however i didn't get the chance to check all of them in field yet. Somehow, it is true for D. suffruticosa (below) and D. excelsa. Four species of Dillenia consists of D. suffruticosa, D. excelsa, D. pulchella & D. albiflos in Peninsular Malaysia have dehiscent fruits while the rest of the six species have indehiscent fruits. The arillate membrane are unnoticeable under herbarium specimens as they dried off as a thin transparent sheet of membrane.

Meanwhile, in the indehiscent fruits, i managed to find two types of seeds which are arillate as well as exarillate. Till now, i had only few chances to disect a few species of fruits for inspections. I found out that D. indica have soft white membrane covering its seeds meanwhile D. ovata and D. reticulata has ex-arillate seeds. A little contradictory to what literature reviews written that D. reticulata have arillate seeds. Below are photos of the fruit of D. reticulata that i disected recently for inspection in field. I found out that the fruits of simpoh when being freshly cut had a tinge smell of guava. The young fruits of simpoh are green in colour and will turn yellowish-green to orangey when ripe. The rotten fruit will turn brown and later on black. The seed on the other hand are white when young and turning into brown to black when matured. According to Corner that had done the study on the infloresences of Dillenia, he found out that the evolutionary of the flowers and fruits are reticulate and both flowers and fruits evolves separately. For me, i think much characters still needed to be inspected before one can determine the phylogenetic relationships of the species in this genus.


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