- Orthotropous ovule of Polygonum in section, showing the embryo-sac s, in the nucellus n, the different ovular coverings, the base of the nucellus or chalaza ch, and the apex of the ovule with its micropyle m.
Ovular characters determine the grouping in the Dicotyledons, van Tieghem supporting the view that the integument, the outer if there be two, is the lamina of a leaf of which the funicle is the petiole, whilst the nucellus is an outgrowth of this leaf, and the inner integument, if present, an indusium.
Even if we admit van Tieghem's interpretation of the integuments to be correct, the diagnostic mark of his unitegminous and bitegminous groups is simply that of the absence or presence of an indusium, not a character of great value elsewhere, and, as we know, the number of the ovular coats is inconstant within the same family.
In some cases the embryo or the embryo-sac sends out suckers into the nucellus and ovular integument.
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