Germination, initial development and morpho-anatomy of epiphytic Cactaceae

<p></p><p>Abstract Epiphytic Cactaceae with ornamental potential are found in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Differences in the germination process and post-initial development among plant species are of interest in the production and establishment of seedlings. This study aimed to investigate the germination and post-seminal development in vitro, in water and agar, and the stem morpho-anatomy of adult individuals growing in the natural environment of Rhipsalis neves-armondii, R. teres and L. cruciform, occurring in Santa Catarina. Growth and development analyzes were determined by measurements of length, biomass, chlorophyll and carotenoid content. Anatomical analyzes of the hypocotyl and stem were obtained by cross - sections and parsimony using classical techniques. The development of seedlings in water and in agar, indicated that it is indispensable to increase nutrients, because the reserve substances were depleted until 60 days of cultivation. In agar, the seeds of R. neves-armondii did not germinate. Anatomical features of the hypocotyl of R. teres and L. cruciforme seedlings were similar. The stem of these species adult individuals also revealed a similar histological constitution. Cuticle thick and water-storage parenchyma verified in the hypocotyl of the seedlings and the stems of adult plants are xeric characteristics, important for water economy of these epiphytes that are protected of the solar irradiation by the phorophyte, but with limitation of water availability.</p><p></p>