Abstract : Morphological and histocytological characteristics of Acacia mangium shoot apical meristems (SAMs) were assessed in natural and in vitro conditions in relation to heteroblasty. In the natural environment, SAMs with a mature-phyllode morphology were much bigger, contained more cells with larger vacuolated area, or vacuome, and lower nucleoplasmic ratios than those from the juvenile type (Juv). In these latter, nuclei appeared more voluminous, evenly and lightly stained, with clearly distinguishable nucleolei and less abundant chromocenters. In vitro, where reversions from mature to juvenile morphological traits do occur unpredictably, heteroblasty was less obvious in the SAM characteristics examined. In vitro SAMs corresponding to the juvenile and mature types showed similarities with outdoor Juv SAMs, but could be distinguished from these latter by a much larger vacuome that might be induced by the culture conditions. These findings encourage pursuing the investigations at the chromatin and nucleolus level in SAM zones where heteroblasty-related differences have been detected.