Anatomy and fruit development in Schinopsis balansae (Anacardiaceae)


  • Ana María González Instituto de Botánica del Nordeste
  • José Luis Vesprini Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, UNR. CONICET



dioecy, dry fruits, fruit ontogeny, parthenocarpy, agamospermy, samaras, quebracho, empty fruits, pericarp


Schinopsis balansae Engl. is a dioecious tree; reproduction is by woody samaras containing a single seed. Fruit set is high, even in isolated trees, empty fruits are frequent and account for a high proportion of the total fruit production. To describe the anatomy and the ontogeny of seeded and seedless fruits, flowers and fruits at different development stages from bagged and pollen exposed flowers were studied. The development and the anatomy of the pericarp in seeded and parthenocarpic fruits did not differ. It consisted in an exocarp formed sensu lato from the external epidermis of the ovary and some layers of the underlying parenchyma. The mature mesocarp was constituted by a sclerified tissue and lysigenous channels. The fruit is of Anacardium type: the endocarp presented three sclerenchymatic and a crystalliferous layer. The endocarp development was also sensu lato because it was formed from the epidermis and the hypodermis of the carpel. This organization agrees with the only species described in the genus: S. haenkeana Engl. Schinopsis balansae is able to produce parthenocarpic fruits in the absence of pollination. Empty fruits from free exposed flowers presented embryos arrested at different stages, although total absence of an embryo was the most common condition. Parthenocarpy seems to be a plesiomorphic trait within the Anacardiaceae, but regardless of its origin, the maintenance of empty fruit production in a wind-dispersed samara is difficult to explain. Whether parthenocarpy has an adaptive value, or is an evolutionary constraint remains unclear in Schinopsis.


Download data is not yet available.


Alzugaray, C., Carnevale, N.J., Salinas, A.R. & Pioli, R. 2005. Observations on quality of Schinopsis balansae Engl. seeds. Seed Technology 27: 49-58.

Boesewinkel, F.D. & Bouman, F. 1984. The seed: structure. In: Johri, B.M. (ed.), Embryology of angiosperms: 567-610. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Chung, J.C. & Waller, D.M. 1986. Patterns of insect predation on seeds of smooth sumac (Rhus glabra L.). The American Midland Naturalist 116: 315-322. Fruit of Schinopsis balansae doi:10.2307/2425739

Corner, E.J.H. 1976. The seeds of Dicotyledons. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Crane, J.C. 1975. The role of seed abortion and parthenocarpy in the production of blank pistachio nuts as affected by rootstock. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 100: 267-270.

Davenport T.L. & R. Núñez-Elisea. 1983. Abscission and ethylene production of mango (Mangifera indica L.) fruit cv. Tommy Atkins. Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society 96: 185-188.

Grundwag, M. & Fahn, A. 1969. The relation of embryology to the low seed set in Pistacia äera (Anacardiaceae). Phytomorphology 19: 225-235.

Janzen, D.H. 1985. Spondias mombin is culturally deprived in megafauna-free forest. Journal of Tropical Ecology 1: 131-155. doi:10.1017/S0266467400000195

Jensen, N. 1962. Botanical histochemistry. Principles and practices. Freeman, W.H. (ed.). London, England.

Johansen, D.A. 1940. Plant Microtechnique. McGraw-Hill, New York.

Lakshminarayana S. & P.H. Aguilar. 1975. Effect of orchard heating in reducing parthenocarpic fruits in ‘Haden’ mango. Proceedings of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 88: 502-505.

Luque, R.H., Sousa, C. & Kraus, J.E. 1996. Métodos de coloração de Roeser (1972) - modificado - e Kropp (1972) visando a substituição do azul de astra por azul de alcião 8 GS ou 8 GX. Acta Botanica Brasilica 10: 199-212.

Martin, F.W. 1949. Staining and observing pollen tubes in the style by means of fluorescence. Stain Technology 34: 125-128.

Martins, G.M.A. & Oliveira, D.M.T. 2001. Morfo-anatomia e ontogênese do fruto e da semente de Tipuana tipu (Benth.) O. Kuntze (Fabaceae: Faboideae). Revista Brasileira de Botânica 24: 109-121.

Oliveira, D.M.T. & Paiva, E.A.S. 2005. Anatomy and ontogeny of Pterodon emarginatus (Fabaceae: Faboideae) seed. Brazilian Journal of Biology 65: 483-494. doi:10.1590/S1519-69842005000300014

Peebles, R.H. & Hope, C. 1937. The influence of different pollens on the development of the pistache nut. Proceedings of the American Society for Horticultural Science 34: 29-32.

Polito, V.S. 1999. Seedlessness and parthenocarpy in Pistacia vera L. (Anacardiaceae): temporal changes in patterns of vascular transport to ovules. Annals of Botany 83: 363-368. doi:10.1006/anbo.1998.0830

Purseglove, J.W. 1968. Tropical crops, Dicotyledons. II. Wiley, Nueva York.

Ram, S. Bist, L.D. Lakhanpal S.C. & Jamwal, I.S. 1976. Search of suitable pollinizers for mango cultivars. Acta Horticulturae 57: 253-263.

Roth, I. 1977. Fruits of angiosperms. In: Linsbauer, K. (ed.), Encyclopedia of plant anatomy: 148-194. Gebruder Borntraeger, Berlin.

Ruzin, S.E. 1999. Plant microtechnique and microscopy. Oxford University Press, New York, USA.

Shuraki, Y.D. & Sedgley, M. 1994. Fruit development of Pistacia vera (Anacardiaceae) in relation to embryo abortion and abnormalities at maturity. Australian Journal of Botany 44: 35-45. doi:10.1071/BT9960035

Soule, J. 1985. Glossary for Horticultural Crops. Wiley, New York. Traveset, A. 1993. Deceptive fruit reduce seed predation by insects in Pistacia terebinthus L. Anacardiaceae. Evolutionary Ecology 7: 357-361.

Verdú, M. & García-Fayos, P. 1998. Ecological causes, function, and evolution of abortion and parthenocarpy in Pistacia lentiscus (Anacardiaceae). Canadian Journal of Botany 76: 134-141. doi:10.1139/cjb-76-1-134

Verdú, M. & García-Fayos, P. 2002. Reproductive ecology of Pistacia lentiscus L. (Anacardiaceae): an evolutionary anachronism in the Mediterranean shrubland. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 75: 57-65.

von Teichman, I. & Robbertse, P.J. 1986. Development and structure of the pericarp and seed of Rhus lancea L. fil. (Anacardiaceae), with taxonomic notes. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 93: 291-306. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1982.tb01027.x

Wannan, B.S. & Quinn, C. 1990. Pericarp structure and generic affinities in the Anacardiaceae. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 102: 225-252. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1990.tb01878.x

A.M. González & J.L. Vesprini Whiley, A.W., Saranah, J.B., Rasmussen, T.S., Winston, E.C. & Wolstenholme, B.N. 1988. Effect of temperature on growth of 10 mango cultivars with relevance to production in Australia: 176-185. In: Batten, D. (ed.), Proceedings of the Fourth Australasian Conference on Tree and Nut Crops, ACOTANC, Lismore.

Young, D.A. 1972. The reproductive biology of Rhus integrifolia and Rhus ovata (Anacardiaceae). Evolution 26: 406-414. doi:10.2307/2407015




How to Cite

González, A. M., & Vesprini, J. L. (2010). Anatomy and fruit development in Schinopsis balansae (Anacardiaceae). Anales Del Jardín Botánico De Madrid, 67(2), 103–112.