Foliar epidermal studies of the genus Crotalaria in Nigeria
Odewo SA, Adeyemo A and Ayodele AE
Foliar epidermal studies of the genus Crotalaria in Nigeria were conducted in Forestry Research Institute of Nigera and Botany Department in University of Ibadan. Eight species of the genus Crotalaria namely; Crotalaria retusa, C. bongensis, C. ononoidea, C. lachnosema, C. comosa, C. naragutensis, C. goreensis and C. mucronata were studied on the basis of micro morphological features of the leaf and pollen with a view to obtaining reliable taxonomic characters for easy identification and delimitation of the species even when they are in fragmentary conditions. Methods follow conventional practice as reported by previous authors of related studies. The mean stomata length in abaxial surfaces of the species studied ranged from 1.2µm in C. bongensis to 25.3µm in C. ononoidea while in adaxial surfaces, the mean stomata length range from 1.1 µm in C. bongensis to 20.5µm in C. ononoidea. The distribution of stomata in C. lachnosema and C. comosa was hypostomatic and amphistomatic respectively delimit the species from others. Anisocytic stomata type was prominent in the studied taxa and this characterized the species in the genus. Additional stomatal type such as Anomotetracytic was also observed in C. lachnosema, C. comosa, and C. naragutensis. The shape of epidermal cells in C. retusa, C. naragutensis and C. goreensis were polygonal on both surfaces while it was irregular in other species (C. comosa, C. lachnosema, C. mucronata, C. ononoidea. and C. bongensis). Anticlinal walls were straight to curved in all species of the studied except in C. ononoidea (Undulate). Trichome observed were simple, unicellular and unbranched on the abaxial surfaces while on adaxial surfaces, trichomes were absent. Pollen grains were tricolporate in the species studied.