Characterization of selected Caesalpinia species in Thailand based on microscopic leaf anatomy including leaf constant numbers

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Suwipa Intakhiao


Caesalpinia L. is a genus of spiny trees, shrubs, or climbers. There are eighteen species of Caesalpinia reported in Thailand. Besides organoleptic evaluation, the microscopic characterization is additionally used for plant authentication. This study aimed to establish the microscopic leaf characteristics of eight Caesalpinia species in Thailand. The fresh mature leaves of eight Caesalpinia species were collected from three different places throughout Thailand. The midrib transverse sections were investigated under microscope attached with digital camera. The laminae were evaluated for stomatal cells, epidermal cells, palisade cells, and trichomes. The results found that there were unicellular non-glandular trichomes in four species. The trichomes were covering on both dorsal and ventral epidermis of C. digyna Rottler, C. minax Hance and C. decapetala (Roth) Alston whereas C. bonduc (L.) Roxb. found trichomes only at the margin and midrib of both leaf surfaces. Caesalpinia sappan L., C. pulcherrima (L.) Sw., C. mimosoides Lam., and C. coriaria (Jacq.) Willd. were not presented trichome on their leaves. Stomatal cells were presented only on ventral epidermis of all species. Trichome characteristics of C. bonduc could be used as an identification key for this species. Trichome number and trichome index determined from C. minax, C. digyna, and C. decapetala were found to be overlapping. However, upper epidermal cell area was capable to identify C. decapetala. Furthermore, the stomatal number could differentiate C. digyna from C. minax. For non-trichome containing species, C. sappan and C. pulcherrima could be identified by stomatal index and upper epidermal cell area. Microscopic leaf constant numbers between C. mimosoides and C. coriaria were overlapping, however C. coriaria demonstrated its identity due to isolateral character. Microscopic leaf constants evaluation is proved to be one of the methods capable in plant authentication.


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Intakhiao, S. (2019). Characterization of selected Caesalpinia species in Thailand based on microscopic leaf anatomy including leaf constant numbers. SNRU Journal of Science and Technology, 11(2), 71-78. Retrieved from
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