Vegetative and reproductive morphological study of some species in the family combretaceae in Nigeria
A qualitative and quantitative morphological study of eleven species representing four genera in the family Combretaceae was conducted in search of inter- and intra-generic characters which may be of taxonomic use in the identification and classification of the family, as well as enhancing the understanding of the taxonomy of the family. Collection of accessions was done from different parts of southern Nigeria. Life plants, fruits, flowers and seeds from mature plants were collected and subjected to morphological studies. Both qualitative and quantitative characters were recorded. Quantitative data were subjected to analysis of variance, single linkage cluster analysis (SLCA) and principal components analysis (PCA). Morphological characters which separate the taxa include leaf shape, leaf apex, presence of hairs, and colour of reproductive parts such as pedicel, stamen, sepal, petal, style and stigma. Quantitative vegetative and reproductive morphological characters vary significantly (P = .05) among the taxa. The presence of undulating leaf margins and cladodromous venation in Terminalia mantaly, an introduced species is diagnostic for the species.
Keywords: Combretaceae, Diagnostic, Morphology, Reproductive, Taxonomy, Vegetative