The careful study of the development of the synangium of Tmesipteris, which consists of two loculi, and of Psilotum, which consists of three, has shown that their structure can be explained as originating by the septation of a single sporangium resembling that of Lycopodium.
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.
There is good reason to believe that the ventral synangium of the Psiloteae corresponds to the ventral sporangiophore with its sporangia in the Sphenophyllales.
In Ptychocarpus the fusion of the sporangia to form the synangium was much more complete; Scolecopteris resembles A sterotheca, but each synangium is stalked.
2, Synangium in side view.
Synangium after dehiscence, magnified.
8, Bennettites, synangium of male flower, showing line of dehiscence, k, and microspores, 1.
9, Synangium, in transverse section, showing sporangial groups, m, and microspores, 1.