Information in the literature was used to determine seed (true seed + endocarp) dormancy types in Anacardiaceae, and the results were examined in relation to published accounts of endocarp anatomy in this family. Reports on both seed germination and endocarp anatomy were found for seven genera in tribe Spondideae, five in tribe Anacardieae, 14 in tribe Rhoeae, and none in the two smallest tribes in the family, Dobineeae and Semecarpeae. In Spondideae (Spondias-type endocarp), seeds were either nondormant (ND) or had physiological dormancy (PD), and in Anacardieae (Anacardium-type endocarp) they were mostly ND. In Rhoeae (Anacardium-type Rhoeae groups A, B, C, and D endocarps), on the other hand, seeds were ND or had physical dormancy (PY), PD, or both (PY + PD). PY in this tribe seems to be restricted to genera (e.g., Cotinus, Rhus) with an Anacardium-type Rhoeae Group A endocarp (sensu Wannan, B. S. and C. J. Quinn. 1990. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 102: 225-252). However, seeds of other genera (e.g., Astronium, Schinus) with this type of endocarp and those with Rhoeae Group B (e.g., Pistacia), Group C (e.g., Pentaspadon), and Group D (e.g., Heeria) endocarps (sensu Wannan and Quinn, 1990; von Teichman and van Wyk. 1996. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 122: 335-352) are either ND or have PD. The fossil fruit record strongly suggests that seeds of Anacardiaceae with PY (Rhus: Rhoeae) and PD (the extinct genus Pentoperculum: Spondideae) extend back to at least the middle Eocene.

Key words: Anacardiaceae, endocarp anatomy, fossil seeds (endocarps), seed dormancy, water-impermeable endocarp, water-permeable endocarp