chapter  16
24 Pages

Matters of Scale: Dealing with One of the Largest Genera of Angiosperms

Derivation and Matters of Size ......................................................... 253 16.1.3

Syzygium:

Ecology, Distribution and Other General Information ..................... 255 16.1.4

Syzygium:

Taxonomy and Differential Morphological Characteristics ............. 256 16.2 Taxonomic History............................................................................................................ 256

16.2.1 Nineteenth Century ............................................................................................. 256 16.2.2 Twentieth Century............................................................................................... 260

16.3 Current Research............................................................................................................... 261 16.3.1 Morphological, Developmental and Chemical Studies ...................................... 261 16.3.2 Molecular Sequence Studies ............................................................................... 262 16.3.3 Floristic Studies................................................................................................... 265 16.3.4 Breeding Biology ................................................................................................ 266

16.4 Future Prospects................................................................................................................ 267 Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................................270 References .................................................................................................................................... 270

Syzygium,

with about 1,200 species, is one of the largest generic groupings of Myrtaceae. Conventionally, it is considered to be taxonomically difficult due to its previous confusion with another large genus of the family (

Eugenia

), the seeming lack of ‘good’ diagnostic characters, and the uncertainty as to the delimitation of genera within the

Syzygium

complex per se. Current divergent taxonomic approaches are discussed, and the taxonomic history of

Syzygium

is summarised.

Present research includes floristic and reproductive biological studies, and active studies into morphological, anatomical and molecular aspects are in progress. The structural, ecological and biological diversity of the group, together with its economic and biodiversity significance, point to

Syzygium