World-wide, 15 taxa (11% of the 137 studied) of the three traditional genera of Calymperaceae (s.s.) regularly produce gemmae sequentially on multicellular stalk-like foliar structures referred to here as gemmipars. Individual gemmiferous leaves give rise to few to many gemmipars, each of which is capable of producing gemmae continuously during the functional life of the leaf. In the remainder of the gemmiferous species of Calymperaceae, the gemmae are produced and matured simultaneously on each gemmiferous leaf, and after abscission of their gemmae the gemmiferous leaves play no further role in asexual reproduction. Syrrhopodon, seemingly the least specialized genus of the family, has only about half the frequency of occurrence of gemmipars (7% of the 82 taxa studied) as that of Calymperes (17% of 35 taxa) and Mitthyridium (15% of 20 taxa). Gemmipars are species-specific in the Calymperaceae and thus potentially useful in systematics. The taxon-limited occurrence of gemmipars in the Calymperaceae and their role in enhancing asexual reproduction suggest that this method of asexual reproduction has ecological and evolutionary implications.
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Vol. 104 • No. 2