According to the characters of the last, we might theoretically divide them into conidiophores, sporangiophores, gametophores, oidiophores, &c.; but since the two latter rarely occur, and more than one kind of spore or spore-case may occur on a sporophore, it is impossible to carry such a scheme fully into practice.
A, B, Section of Leaf of Potato F, G, H, J, Further development with sporangiophores of Phy- of the sporangia.
The stamens of Araucaria and Agathis are peculiar in bearing several long and narrow free pollen-sacs; these may be compared with the sporangiophores of the horsetails (Equisetum); in Taxus (yew) the filament is attached to the centre of a large circular distal expansion, which bears several pollen-sacs on its under surface.
This similarity is closest in Archaeocalamites, an ancient type found in Upper Devonian rocks; in this the strobilus consists of peltate sporangiophores inserted in whorls on the axis.
In the other Calamarian strobili known the whorls of sporangiophores are separated by whorls of bracts.
In some the sporangiophores stood midway between the sterile whorls, while in others they approached the whorl above or below.
There is a close resemblance between these sporangiophores and those of Equisetum, but as a rule only four sporangia were borne on each.
The overlapping bracts afforded protection to the sporangia, which were borne on sporangiophores springing from the upper surface of the coherent bracts near their origin from the axis; two sporangiophores usually arose from each bract, and sometimes adhered to its upper surface for some distance.
In Sphenophyllum fertile both the ventral lobes of the sporophyll (corresponding to the sporangiophores in other species) and the dorsal lobes, which in other species are sterile, were developed as peltate sporangiophores.
In Cheirostrobus a similar relation of sporangiophores to bracts existed, but here each bract was divided into three segments.
That these three sterile segments, with their sporangiophores, are together comparable to one of the bracts of Sphenophyllum, with its sporangiophores, is shown by the vascular supply in each case being derived from a single leaf-trace, So far as is at present known, the Sphenophyllales were homosporous.
Other views of the nature of the Psilotaceous synangium are, however, possible, and indeed the existence of both simple and complicated sporangiophores in the Sphenophyllaceae leaves the question open as to whether the synangium in existing Psilotaceae is a relatively simple type of sporangiophore which has persisted unaltered or is the result of reduction from a more elaborate structure.
The position of the fertile spike in relation to the leaf corresponds to that of the synangium or sporangiophores in the Psilotales and Sphenophyllales.
The sporangiophores, which are usually half as numerous in each verticil as the bracts, have the same form as in Equisetum, but each bears four sporangia only.
Diagrammatic longitudinal section of cone, showing the axis (ax) bearing the bracts (br) with peltate sporangiophores (sp) springing from their axils; sm, sporangia.
Part of cone, showing the axis (ax) bearing peltate sporangiophores (sp) without bracts; sm, sporangia.
In certain cases the strobili of Palaeozoic Calamarieae appear to have had essentially the same organization as in the recent genus, the axis bearing sporangiophores only, without intercalated bracts.
Other cones, however, namely, those known as Pothocites, have also been attributed on good grounds to the genus Archaeocalamites; they are long strobili, constricted at intervals, and it is probable that the succession of fertile sporangiophores was interrupted here and there by the intercalation of sterile bracts, which may also have been present, at long intervals, in Renault's species.
In the lax strobili the sporangiophores, which are not peltate, but strap-shaped, were borne, as C. E.
Diagrammatic longitudinal section of the cone, showing the axis (ax) bearing alternate whorls of bracts (br) and peltate sporangiophores (sp) with their sporangia (sm).
The dorsal segments are sterile, corresponding to the bracts of Sphenophyllum Dawsoni, while the ventral segments constitute peltate sporangiophores, each bearing four sporangia, just as in a ax FIG.
Sp, Sporangiophores, each bearing a sporangium, sm.
The great length and slender proportions of the segments give the cone a peculiar character, but the relations of position appear to leave no doubt as to the homologies with the fructification of Sphenophylleae; as regards the sporangiophores, Bowmanites Romeri occupies exactly the middle place between S.
While the anatomy has a somewhat Lycopodiaceous character, the arrangement of the appendages is altogether that of the Sphenophylleae; at the same time Calamarian affinities are indicated by the characters of the sporangiophores and sporangia.
As a rule two sporangiophores belong to each bract.
The recently discovered species, Sphenophyllum fertile, while resembling Bowmanites Romeri in its peltate, bisporangiate sporangiophores, is peculiar in the fact that both dorsal and ventral lobes of the sporophyll were fertile, dividing in a palmate manner into several branches, each of which constitutes a sporangiophore.