MORPHOLOGICAL AND ANATOMICAL INVESTIGATION
Department of Biology, Faculty of Art and Science,
The aim of this study is to provide information on the morphological and anatomical
properties of Alkanna froedinii Rech.fil and Alkana cardifolia C. Koch, which are endemic in
Turkey and are used in folk medicine. It has been reported that A. froedinii and A. cardiofolia are
closely related to each other. In this study, the Alkanna species have been investigated for
morphological and anatomical differences. It has been observed A.froedinii has some different
characteristics from A. cardiofolia such as numerous setiform and glandular hairs.
1995). In Turkey, it is represented by 31 species of which A. froedinii and A. cardifolia
are endemic species (Davis, 1978). Many of the of Alkanna species have economical and
medical importance.Some of them are used in the preparation of drugs for the treatment
of abscess and constipation, some of them are used as emanagog and dye, some of them
are used to color and identifity oils (Baytop, 1984; Kandemir & Beyazoğlu, 2002). In
addition the dye exists in plants roots and is used in food industry (Karamanoğlu, 1973;
Zeybek & Zeybek, 1994; Baytop, 1996). The present report gives an account of
morphological and anatomical studies on A. cardifolia and A. froedinii.
Material and Methods
Plant samples were collected from natural populations during its flowering period A.
2988). A. cardiofolia: B7 Erzurum; Hasankale, Nenehatun district, 1900m, 16.06.1996
Specimens were preserved in the Herbarium of the Faculty of Art and Science,
University of Celal Bayar, Manisa, Turkey. The distribution of the plant, according to the
herbarium records and Flora of Turkey (Davis, 1978) is shown Fig. 1. The plant samples
stored in 70 % alcohol were used for the anatomical studies. The paraffin method was
used for preparing a cross section of root, stem and leaves (Algan, 1981). Transverse
sections, 15-20 µm were made using a sliding microtome and stained with Safranin- Fast
hairs. This hair gives gray-white color to stem. The root of the taxon taproot in shape.
Pale-brown hard bark is present on the root. The stem is erect and 10-35 cm tall. Basal
leaves are linear- lanceolate with entire margins, 6 - 20
0.7-2 cm. Cauline leaves are
0.7-1.5 cm. Inflorescence is cymes, flowers are actinomorphic
hairs. Bracts are lanceolate to ovate, 1-6
0.5-2.5 cm. Corolla 8-18mm in length in
steppe and Quercus scrub (Figs. 2, 4).
° Alkanna froedinii Rech. fil • Alkanna cardiofolia C. Koch
Fig. 2. General appearance of Alkanna froedinii Rech. fil.
Fig. 3. General appearance of Alkanna cardifolia C. Koch.
with sparse minute glandular hairs. The aglandular hairs are longer than glandular hairs.
These aglandular hairs are weak and scarcely setiform.Basal leaves are linear-lanceolate
with flat, entire margins. 3.5-12
0.3-1.6 cm. Cauline leaves are lanceolate to ovate, 2-6
1-2 cm. Inflorescence cymes, flowers are actinomorphic symmetric. Pedicel 1.5-4 mm
in length. Calyx 6-14mm in flower. It is covered with lax hairs. Bracts are lanceolate to
0.3-2 cm. Corolla yellow 9-15mm. Species is distributed at the 500-2000m
colored, crushed, break up and sometimes fall out. Cortex is 6-8 layered. Its cells are flat-
ovoidal in shape. The phloem elements are located in small region of root. Cambium cells
are 1-2 layered between phloem and xylem. Xylem has trachea cells different in size. The
pith occupies a narrow space and consists of parenchymatic cells (Fig. 6).
Stem: In the upper part of the stem, there is a cuticular layer followed by epidermis.
Epidermal cells 2-3 layered, 1-3 layered periderm is present under epidermis.
Parenchymatical cortex cells are 5-6 layered which are bigger on the centre part than
other parts. There are sclerenchymatic rings between cortex and vascular bundle region.
Fig. 4. General appearance of Alkanna froedinii Rech. fil.
Fig. 5. General appearance of Alkanna cardifolia C. Koch.
The ring is sometimes crashed.Phloem occupies a narrow space. There are collenchyma
located in large region of stem. The cells of pith are flattered and sometimes crashed.
Glandular and aglandular hairs are present or epidermis of stem. Glandular hairs are
capitate hairs which has single head cell and 1-2 stalk cells (Figs. 7, 12a).
Fig. 6. Cross-sectionof root of Alkanna froedinii.
p. Peridermis, c. Cortex, m. Cambium, x. Xylem
Table 1. Measurements of cells of various tissue of A. froedinii and b. A. cardifolia.
Diameter of trache
Diameter of pith cell
Upper epidermis cell
followed by a single layered epidermis. Lower epidermis cells are bigger than upper
epidermis. Palisade cells are rich in chloroplasts. Spongy parenchyma cells occupy a
wide area in the mesophyll. There are no broad intercellular spaces in the mesophyll
tissue. Aglandular hairs are present on both upper and lower epidermis (Fig. 8, Table 1).
dark colored, sometimes fall out. Cortex is multilayered and parenchymatic. Cell size is
larger in primary cortex than secondary cortex. Phloem elements are located in small
region of root. Cambium cells are 1-2 layered and distinguishable. The pith is tight and
consist of layered parenchymatic cells. The pith has a pith space (Fig. 9).
Fig. 7. a. Cross-section of stem of Alkanna froedinii.
e. Epidermis, c. Cortex, s. Scleranchyma, m. Cambium, x. Xylem
Fig. 8. a. Cross-section of leaf of Alkanna froedinii.
u. Upper epidermis, l. Lower epidermis
flat ovoidal cell. Periderm is present under epidermis. Periderm is 3-5 layered. There are
cortex cells under periderm. These cells are 4-5 layered and ovoidal. There are
sclerenchymatic rings on the phloem. Phloem occupies a narrow space. Cambium is 1-2
layered and sometimes crashed Diameter of tracheal elements are too large. There are
sclerenchymatic groups on the xylem.The pith cells are flat-ovoidal. Capitate glandular
and aglandular hairs are present on epidermis (Figs. 10, 12 b).
Fig. 9. Cross-sectionof root of Alkanna cardifolia.
Fig. 10. a. Cross-section of stem of Alkanna cardifolia.
b. Enlargement of the shown area of a.
e. Epidermis, p. Peridermis, c. Cortex, m. Cambium, k. Scleranchyma, x. Xylem
Leaf: There is cuticle layer on both upper and lower surfaces. Glandular and aglandular
hairs are present on both upper and lower epidermis having flat- ovoidal cells on upper
and lower surface of leaf. Palisade parenchyma cells are 2-3 layered. There are broad
intercellular spaces in the mesophyll tissue. Stoma cells are present in both upper and
lower epidermis. Glandular hairs are capitate hairs which have single head cells.
Furthermore, there are capitate glandular hairs which have cup-like head cell (Figs. 11,
This is the first study on Alkanna froedinii and Alkanna cardifolia except the
the characteristics of the two species evaluating the results obtained from morphological,
anatomical investigations. It has been reported that A. froedinii is related to A. cardifolia
(Davis, 1978). Differences have been determined comparing the results obtained from
these species. These two species are separable from each other with some morphological
and anatomical properties. A. froedinii has some different characteristics from A.
with long setiform hairs.
The samples of A. froedinii and A. cardifolia, used in this study show some
differences from findings of Davis (1978). Our samples of A. froedinii were 10-35 cm
tall, cauline leaves 2-7 x 0.7-1.5 cm and corolla 8-18 mm. According to Davis (1978), the
plants are 20-45 cm tall, cauline leaves are 4-8x1-2 cm tall and corolla is 10-20 mm. In
our study, we observed that the samples of A. cardifolia are up to 40 cm tall and corolla
9-15 mm. According to Davis (1978), the plants are up tu 30 cm tall and corolla 8-13
mm. As a result of morphological studies according to Davis (1978) and our data, it
appears that the gradient of variation has widened for endemic A. froedinii and A.
Fig. 12. Glandular hairs different parts of a. A. froedinii and b. A. cardifolia
The studies of anatomy however, did not show a clear separation between of the two
pith cells of root of A. cardifolia are prismatical in shape. On the other hand, pith cells of
stem of A. froedinii are prismatical in shape, while those of stem of A. cardifolia are
ovoidal in shape. In addition, the stem of A. cardifolia has bigger trache cells than the
stem of A. froedinii. It has been determined that there was a sclerenchymatical group and
ring over phloem of both of the two species. Özörgücü et al., (1991) gave an information
about general anatomical characteristics of Boraginaceae. The family to which the
investigated species belong has stem with deeply and superficial periderm. In this study,
it was observed that the investigated species had those properties.
The species were compared by studying glandular hairs on their vegetative and
reproductive organs. It has been found out in these observations that A. cardifolia has
more variable glandular hairs than A. froedinii (Figs. 12 a, b). Classification of glandular
hairs of the species investigated was done according to Werker et al., (1985). Type I and
Type III capitate glandular hairs have been observed in A. cardifolia. These glandular
hairs consist of both one and two stalk cells. The type I capitate glandular hairs which
have a head 1 celled and a stalk 1-2 celled have been observed in A. froedinii. In addition,
stalk cells are not present at some glandular hairs in the investigated species.
In this study, some morphological and anatomical features, such as glandular and
eglandular characters, shape of pith cells of stem are distinguishing features for the
investigated Alkanna species.
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(Received for publication 19 July 2004)