Foliar Epidermal Characters and Micromorphology of a Few Species of Phlogacanthus Nees (Acanthaceae) from Assam, India
The leaf epidermal features of a few species of Phlogacanthus Nees viz. P. curviflorus var. curviflorus(Wall.) Nees, P. curviflorus var. menchanensis Barnali Dutta & S.K. Borthakur, P. gomezii(Nees) J.R.I Wood, P. parviflorus (T. Anderson) J.B. Imlay, P. pubinervius T. Anders, and P. quadrangularis (Hook.) Heine was carried out to establish and document their foliar epidermal characters. A specific characteristic of the genus is the hypostomatic leaves and presence of glandular trichomes in both the surfaces viz. adaxial and abaxial. The qualitative characters of leaf epidermal margin includes pentagonal, hexagonal and heptagonal cells in the adaxial surface and slightly sinuous and undulate cells inthe abaxial surface. Different trichomes like glandular, non-glandular and crystals like calcium oxalate, calcium carbonate are present in both the surfaces of leaf epidermis. The quantitative epidermal characters of the taxa includes epidermal cell length, breadth in upper epidermis; stomatal length, breadth; epidermal cell length, breadth; number of subsidiary cells; stomata per vision; epidermal cell per vision and stomatal index. The detailed micromorphology of all the species are visible from the SEM micrographs. However, species are distinguished from one another due to the absence of trichomes, crystals on both the surfaces and the differences intheir lengths.