NORDIC JOURNAL OF BOTANY, vol.31, no.3, pp.270-277, 2013 (SCI-Expanded)
Ziziphora L. is represented by 5 species and 2 subspecies in the flora of Turkey: Z. clinopodioides, Z. capitata, Z. persica, Z. tenuior, Z. taurica subsp. taurica, Z. taurica subsp. cleonioides. It is difficult to distinguish between some Ziziphora taxa because of their morphological similarities. In this study, the leaf and calyx trichomes of Ziziphora taxa in Turkey were studied in order to assess anatomical variations that may serve as distinguishing characters. Their micromorphological features were surveyed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and light microscopy (LM). Trichomes on leaves and calyx can be divided into two general types: non-glandular trichomes and glandular (secretory) trichomes. The non- glandular trichomes are simple, acicular or curved with cuticular micropapillae. They usually consist of one or more additional cells. The glandular trichomes are divided into two types: peltate and capitate and Ziziphora taxa can easily be distinguished by presence/absence, density and types of glandular trichomes on leaves and calyx. The peltate trichomes consist of 12 or 18 secretory head cells in a single disc; four or six central cells surrounded by eight or twelve peripheral ones. Peltate trichomes are absent on the adaxial leaf surface of Z. capitata and Z. persica. Two types of capitate trichomes are present in Ziziphora. The capitate trichomes are only absent on the calyx surface of Z. persica. In addition, the trichome micromorphology provides some support for separating the two subspecies of Z. taurica. In conclusion, Ziziphora taxa can easily be distinguished by cell number, cell shape presence/absence and density of the glandular trichomes on leaves and calyx.