Amborella trichopoda is a small, evergreen shrub. It occurs only in the moist, shaded understory of montane forests on the South Pacific island of New Caledonia. The genus is the only member of the family Amborellaceae and contains only this single species.
|Amborella buds and flowers|
Since Amborella is apparently basal among the flowering plants, the features of early flowering plants can be inferred. This is done by comparing derived traits shared by other angiosperms but not present in Amborella. These traits are assumed to have evolved after the divergence of the Amborella lineage.
The Amborellaceae are a line of flowering plants that diverged very early on (about 130 million years ago) from all the other living species of flowering plants. Among living flowering plants, it is the sister group to all other flowering plants.
- Große-Veldmann, Bernadette et al 2011. Amborella trichopoda — cultivation of the most ancestral angiosperm in botanic gardens. Journal of Botanic Garden Horticulture 9: 143–155.
- Soltis, Pamela S. & Soltis, Douglas E. 2013. Angiosperm phylogeny: a framework for studies of genome evolution. In Leitch, Ilia J. et al Plant genome diversity. vol 2, Springer, pp. 1–11. ISBN 978-3-7091-1160-4
- Pillon, Yohan 2008. Biodiversité, origine et évolution des Cunoniaceae: implications pour la conservation de la flore de Nouvelle-Calédonie. (in French and English). University of New Caledonia.