Taxonomic Significance of Morphological Characters in Some Species of Cucurbitaceae Common in Abakaliki Ebonyi State

Okereke N. Chukwu

Department of Botany, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.

Ekwealor U. Kenneth

Department of Botany, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.

Nwakuche O. Adaugo

Department of Botany, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.

Onyili C. Adachukwu

Department of Botany, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.

Hope N. Eze

Department of Botany, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.

Iroka F. Chisom

Department of Botany, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Morphological properties have been used as indices in taxonomical studies for more than hundred years. The present study was carried out in Mgbabor, Abakaliki local government area of Ebonyi State Nigeria with an aim to determine the taxonomic significance of morphological features in three species (Citrullus vulgaris, Momordica charantia and Luffa cylindrica) of family Cucurbitaceae. Five samples from each species were randomly collected. The morphological features of each sample were identified after which the leaf, flower and fruit measurements were taken. The statistical method used in the analysis of data was ANOVA. The result of the morphological characteristics (leaf type, colour of the flower, fruit shape, leaf arrangement, colour of corolla, leave texture, rind         on the fruit, leave surface, number of seeds, fruit shape, flower symmetry, receptacle etc) of          C. vulgaris, M. charantia and L. cylindrica was recorded. A comparison of morphological characteristics revealed that tendrils was present in C. vulgaris and L. cylindrica but absent in M. charantia. M. charantia and L. cylindrica had an oval fruit shape while C. vulgaris was globular. Morphological characteristics shared among the three species are alternate leaf arrangement, cordate leaf base, inferior ovary, pubescent leave surface, simple leave type amongst others. The flower of all the three species was radically symmetrical, and all the three species had a total of 5 petals each. The petals of C. vulgaris and L. cylindrica were yellow while M. charantia was white. C. vulgaris and M. charantia had a one-sided inflorescence while L. cylindrica was auxiliary. The mean leaf area, fruit area and flower area of C. vulgaris, M. charantia and L. cylindricalwas also calculated. The result generated in this study can be useful as morphological evidence for delineating taxa of the plants at the generic level. Hence this work is of great taxonomic significance in delimiting these species of family cucurbitaceae studied.

Keywords: Morphology, taxonomy, Cucurbitaceae, plant, flower, leave, stem, fruit, Citrullus vulgaris, Momordica charantia, Luffa cylindrica


How to Cite

Chukwu, O. N., Kenneth , E. U., Adaugo, N. O., Adachukwu , O. C., Eze , H. N., & Chisom , I. F. (2024). Taxonomic Significance of Morphological Characters in Some Species of Cucurbitaceae Common in Abakaliki Ebonyi State. Asian Journal of Research in Botany, 7(1), 47–56. Retrieved from https://journalajrib.com/index.php/AJRIB/article/view/207

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