keywords: Cashew, dorminant, genetic, morhological, shape, variability
Morphological variation has been a tool in classification of cultivars and thus used in study of genetic relationship. In this study, the morphological features of cashew trees (Anacardiumoccidentale L.) was studied with the aid of Cashew descriptors by International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR). Fifty (50) cashew trees were randomly selected for the study and tagged at Egume, Dekina Local Government Area, Kogi State. Seven characters namely;tree habit, branching pattern, colour of the young leaves, colour of mature leaves, leaf-shape, leaf apex shape and leaf cross section were observed. Results revealed that for tree habits, spreading was observed in 24% of the selected trees while each of upright and compact and, upright and open were observed on 38% of the trees. Resultsof branching pattern shows that 30% of the selected trees had intensive pattern, the rest had extensive pattern. The colours of young leaves were purple (56%), purple red (20%), red (12%), green purple (8%), and green (4%). None of the young leaves examined exhibited green yellow or purple yellow colouration. Variabilities were also observed in colour of mature leaves, shape of leaves, and shapes of leaf apicesThe results of this study reveals that variability exist in cashew trees growing at Egume for all the morphological traits examined and this could be due to genetic differences and selection by human kind.