Wood anatomy of three specimens of Neowawraea phyllanthoides Rock, a rare and endangered member of Euphorbiaceae endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, is described and compared with woods of other genera of subfamily Phyllanthoideae. Neowawraea has often been associated or synonymized with Drypetes Vahl. Wood of Neowawraea is diffuse porous, perforation plates are simple, imperforate tracheary elements are thin-walled septate fiber-tracheids, rays are heterocellular and crystalliferous, and axial xylem parenchyma is restricted to a few scanty paratracheal and terminal cells. In several respects these results differ from earlier published descriptions of the wood of this taxon; these earlier descriptions are shown to be in error. Further, as described here, wood of Neowawraea differs greatly from that of Drypetes. Accordingly, generic status for Neowawraea is warranted on anatomical grounds and relationship with certain genera of tribe Phyllantheae such as Breynia Forst., Glochidion Forst., or Phyllanthus L. is favored over relationship with Drypetes.

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Copyright © 1984, American Society of Plant Taxonomists. This article first appeared in Systematic Botany: 9:4 (1984), 458-466.

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