Anatomical and Phytochemical Studies on Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn. (Cucurbitaceae)

Chimezie EKEKE, Chinedum A. OGAZIE, Ikechukwu O. AGBAGWA

Abstract


The morphological and anatomical studies of Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn. from Nigeria was carried out with the view to reporting morphological and anatomical characteristics for the first time. Physical and microscopic (microtomy) observations were used. B. hispida is a monoecious climbing or trailing herb, stem hairy, 5-angled, with suborbicular stipuliform bract at the petiole-base; leaves simple, very hairy on both surface, alternate, blade palmately or ovate in young plant, base cordate. Flowering occurs between April and May. Female flowers solitary, male flowers solitary or in a slender-pedunculate racemes, petals-5, cream, yellow or pale yellow, ovary ellipsoid, ovules many, stigma 3-lobed and stamen 3. Fruits are large, weighs 8.5 - 9.0 kg, succulent, densely hairy when young, with a thick waxy deposit when mature, cylindrical to oblong with hairy stalk. Seeds are ovate-obovate, cream. Leaves and petals of male flower are amphistomatic with anomocytic, tetracytic and anisocytic stomata while petals of the female flower are hypostomatic with anomocytic stomata only on the abaxial surface. It has glandular and non-glandular trichomes with uniseriate stalk, clavate and multicellular gland heads. The midrib, petiole, stem, tendril, male and female flower stalks and tendril have hollow pith with 3, 9, 6-7, 16, 14 and 10 bicollateral vascular bundles respectively. The percentage crude protein, ash, carbohydrate, lipid, crude fibre, alkaloid, flavonoid, tannin and phytate could account for the numerous medicinal properties.


Keywords


amphistomatic; anatomy; Benincasa hispida; glandular trichome; hypostomatic; morphology; phytochemical

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15835/nsb11110394


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