Letter | Published:

Anthocyanins in Ferns

Naturevolume 207page984 (1965) | Download Citation



THE water-soluble red pigments present in young fern fronds do not seem to have been investigated since Price, Sturgess, Robinson and Robinson1 in 1938 reported that unusual flavylium salts, resembling 6-hydroxypelargonidin or 6-hydroxycyanidin in their colour preperties, occurred in eight ferns. Recent phytochemical interest in the phenolic constituents of lower plants2 and the discoveries of luteolinidin (I, R = OH) in the moss Bryum3 and of an unidentified anthocyanidin in a fungus4 suggested that the fern pigments would bear re-investigation.

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  1. 1

    Price, J. R., Sturgess, V. C., Robinson, R., and Robinson, G. M., Nature, 142 356 (1938).

  2. 2

    Chemical Plant Taxonomy, edit. by Swain, T. (Academic Press, London, 1962).

  3. 3

    Benz, G., Martensson, O., and Terenius, L., Acta Chem. Scand., 16, 1183 (1962).

  4. 4

    Avadhani, P. N., and Lim, G., Abst. Tenth Intern. Bot. Congr., 326 (1964).

  5. 5

    Harborne, J. B., Phytochemistry, 2, 85 (1962).

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    Hayashi, K., and Abe, Y., Bot. Mag., Tokyo, 68, 299 (1955).

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    Hegnauer, R., Chemotaxonomie der Pflanzen, 1, (1962).

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    Bate-Smith, E. C., Biochem. J., 58, 122 (1954).

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  1. John Innes Institute, Hertford, Hertfordshire

    • J. B. HARBORNE


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