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Journal of Botany
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 5603140, 9 pages
Research Article

Micromorphological Studies of the Loranthaceae, Phragmanthera capitata (Sprengel) Balle

Medicinal Plants and Economic Development (MPED) Research Center, Botany Department, University of Fort Hare, Alice, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Correspondence should be addressed to Anthony Jide Afolayan

Received 27 October 2016; Accepted 20 December 2016; Published 23 February 2017

Academic Editor: William K. Smith

Copyright © 2017 Franklin Uangbaoje Ohikhena et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Phragmanthera capitata (Sprengel) Balle is a mistletoe of the Loranthaceae family that has been explored for its therapeutic properties in folklore for ages. However, there had been an alarming increase in misidentification of species in this family. This may be due in part to the lack of species taxonomic information. Hence, this study wishes to highlight the range of micromorphological features which could complement the information database of this species. Scanning electron, light, and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) microscopies were used for this study. The result revealed a paracytic type of stomata with mean abaxial and adaxial density of  mm2 and  mm2, respectively, and mean guard cell length of μm. Oval-shaped lenticels with a mean length of μm were observed. They were arranged in parallel on the epidermal cells of the abaxial midrib. Densely packed stellate trichomes were revealed on the abaxial epidermis with a density of  mm2. Tracheary elements, which are tightly packed with granules believed to be proteins, were observed in the cross sections of the twig. Deposits chiefly composed of silicon, aluminium, potassium, and iron were recorded in the EDX analysis. This study revealed detailed descriptive micromorphological structures which could serve as a source of information and reference for the taxonomic description of P. capitata.