Microscopy research and technique

Botanical features for identification of Gymnosporia arenicola dried leaf.

PMID 26303860


Gymnosporia arenicola Jordaan (Celastraceae) is a shrub or small tree, which naturally occurs in coastal sand dunes of Southern Mozambique and South Africa. Its dried leaf is often used in traditional medicine for the treatment of infectious and inflammatory diseases. Hereby, we present results of studies carried out according to the pharmacopoeia standards for the identification of herbal drugs, in the whole, fragmented, and powdered plant material. These results were complemented with scanning electron microscopy and histochemical techniques. The leaf microscopic analysis revealed a typical dorsiventral mesophyll with a corresponding spongy parenchyma-palisade parenchyma ratio of 0.60, anomocytic and paracytic stomata, papillate cells with a diameter of 4.00 ± 0.40 µm, multicellular uniseriate nonglandular trichomes with a length of 27.00 ± 4.10 µm and cristalliferous idioblasts containing calcium oxalate cluster crystals with a diameter of 23.04 ± 5.84 µm. The present findings demonstrate that the G. arenicola leaf has both nonglandular trichomes and hypoderm, features not previously described in the corresponding botanical section (Gymnosporia sect. Buxifoliae Jordaan). The establishment of these new botanical markers for the identification of G. arenicola leaf is essential for quality, safety and efficacy reasons.