keywords: Folia mophology, delimitation, leaf, Stomata, Cassia, Ceasalpinoideae
The foliar epidermal characters of species of Senna and Cassia were studied in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in search for useful taxonomic characters; these include Senna alata (L.) Roxb., S. hirsuta (L.) Irwin and Barneby, S. obtusifolia (L), S. occidentalis (L.), S. siamea (Lam.), S. singueana (L), S. siberiana (L) and Cassia absus. All species were shruby except for senna siamea and S. alata which are either shruby or trees. The stomata found were paracytic and anisocytic in most of the studied species except for S. hirsutae and S. siberiana which were paracytic all through. There was variability in the length which was highest in S. hirsutae (2.22 µm) and lowest in S. siamea (1.32 µm) of their stomata and the frequency, highest in S. hirsutae (42.75 µm) and lowest in S. obtusfolia (18.55 µm) reflects their taxonomic delimitation. These stomata were found both on the abaxial and adaxial surfaces of the studied plants (amphistomata). A dichotomous taxonomic key was constructed to aid the identification of the studied Senna and Cassia species.
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