Comparative studies on macro-morphology, foliar epidermis, stem and petiole anatomy of two indigenous wild cucurbits (Zehneria capillacea and Zehneria scabra) in Nigeria were carried out in order to improve the delimitation of the species based on these parameters. The morphological features of significance observed include variations in leaf and stem pubescence density, leaf shape, fruit shape and color, flower color, seed shape and coat texture. Similarities were observed in their growth habit, shape of foliar epidermal cells, stomatal features and stem anatomy. The two species evaluated have a creeping growth habit, uniseriate eglandular trichomes, anomocytic and tetracytic stomata, pentagonal shaped stem with 8 bicollateral vascular bundles. Glandular 4-celled head trichome and isotricytic stoma were only found in Z. capillacea. The leaves of both species are amphistomatic having adaxial and abaxial stomatal densities of 2.47±0.058 and 13.68±0.021 for Z. capillacea and 3.24±0.125 and 19.72±0.199 for Z. scabra. However, the observed petiolar vascular bundle was 5 in Z. capillacea and 7 in Z. scabra. This distinct number in the petiole provides additional distinguishing information for maintaining them as different species.
Key words: Anatomy, bicollateral vascular bundles, stomata, trichome
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