Anatomical Basis for Optimal Use of Water for Maintenance of Three Xerophytic Plants
Three xerophytic plant species namely Agave americana Linn., Aloe vera Tourn. and Linn. and Euphorbia milii Des Moul. were propagated in a greenhouse each with 5 varying soil moisture contents i.e. 1.25%, 2.5%, 5%, 10%, and 20% and subjected to 4 watering frequencies i.e. daily, weekly, biweekly and monthly. Euphorbia milii was the most xerophytic species having relatively lower rate of transpiration than Aloe vera and Agave americana. It was suggested that the high rate of transpiration in Aloe vera and Agave americana may be due to the large tetracytic stomata as compared to the small paracytic stomata of Euphorbia milii. It was also observed that Aloe vera was least tolerant of high soil moisture in daily watering as well as low soil moisture in monthly regime. Agave americana and Euphorbia milii were species that were more robust with capacity to cope well with low and high watering regimes than Aloe vera.
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