The micro morphology of both adaxial and abaxial leaf surfaces of seven species of the genus Abutilon Mill. (Malvaceae) viz., Abutilon bidentatum A. R. rich, Abutilon fruticosum Guill. & Perr., Abutilon indicum (L.) Sweet, Abutilonmolle (Wild.) Sweet, Abutilon muticum (Del. Ex. DC,) Sweet, Abutilonpakistanicum Jafri & Ali and Abutilon theophrasti Medic was investigated using light microscopy to explore and evaluate the taxonomic implication of foliar epidermal features particularly that of glandular and eglandular trichomes. Leaves of all the seven species were observed to be amphistomatic and amphitrichomic. The ordinary epidermal cells were commonly polygonal with straight walls, or less often irregular in shape, with slightly undulating walls (abaxial surface of Abutilon muticum and Abutilon theophrastii). Two types of stomata, anisocytic and diacytic were generally more concentrated on abaxial surface. An indumentum of variable density and texture formed of wide variety of glandular and eglandular trichomes on both surfaces was characteristic of the genus. Seven diverse morphological forms of foliar trichomes were recorded. The trichome complements of each of the seven species studied were unique and thus, can easily be used as an important supportive taxonomic character to delimit each.
Key words: Abutilon, Foliar trichomes, taxonomy.
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