The wood of three Nigerian species of Strychnos Linn. growing in different ecological zones was studied. The transverse, transverse longitudinal and radial longitudinal sections of the wood were made with sliding sledge microtome. The wood was macerated to measure its fiber and vessel dimensions. The wood was diffusing porous and intraxylary phloem occurred in the three species. Interxylary phloem in discontinuous ring occurred in the xylem cylinder of Strychnos innocua Del. and Strychnos usambarensis Gilg. Parenchyma was paratracheal and formed aliform to confluent patterns in S. spinosa Lam. but scanty in S. innocua and S. usambarensis. Vessel elements occurred singly and in radial and tangential multiples of two to four. The fiber lumen dimension of S. spinosa had the least value while its fiber cell wall thickness also had the greatest value. In S. spinosa, alkaloids and sterols were detected in the leaves and stem extracts. Alkaloids were found in the leaves, stem bark and fruits of S. usambarensis. The micro morphological features in each species were useful in making them adapt to the climatic conditions of the ecological zones where they grow.
Key words: Interxylary phloem, Intraxylary phloem, Strychnos spinosa, Strychnos innocua, Strychnos usambarensis.
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