Several appendages are attached at each node of adult shoots of Azara serrata. There is always a large ‘leaf, which is equivalent to the leaf blade of the early seedling leaf, and a small ‘leaf which is of stipular derivation. Other additional appendages of stipular derivation can occur. These are generally glandular, but in the early adult phase (second-season seedlings) some of them may be leaf-like. Only the large and small ‘leaves’ have a leaf-like vascular supply, from two traces derived from an original trilacunar nodal condition. It is suggested that A. serrata, and other species, may escape from conventional morphology by a cascade of stipular development and progressive elaboration, each stipular structure becoming accompanied by additional stipular structures with increasing size of the apical region as the plant develops from seedling to adult, and increasing size being accompanied by an increasing tendency to develop in a leaf-like manner. As a result there is a continuum of developmental possibilities for stipular structures, from gland to ‘leaf.

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Acta botanica neerlandica

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Koninklijke Nederlandse Botanische Vereniging

W.A. Charlton. (1994). Elaboration of stipular structures in Azara serrata R. & P. (Flacourtiaceae). Acta botanica neerlandica, 43(4), 373–382.