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Leaf Architecture of two Species and nine Infraspecific Taxa of the Philippine Mussaenda Linn. (Rubiaceae): Conservation concerns

Author Affiliations

  • 1Forest Biological Sciences, College of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of the Philippines Los Baños, College Laguna 4031 Laguna, PHILIPPINES
  • 2Institute of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Philippines Los Baños, and Faculty of Management and Development Studies, University of Philippines Open University, Los Baños, 4031 Laguna, PHILIPPINES

Int. Res. J. Biological Sci., Volume 3, Issue (10), Pages 13-21, October,10 (2014)

Abstract

Two Mussaenda species are included in this study with additional 9 infraspecific taxa making up the total of 11 Philippine Mussaenda species studied. Specimen morphological characters were described and a dichotomous key constructed. Notably, results showed that characters of areolation, secondary vein category, tertiary vein angle variability and quaternary veins proved the most useful. This demonstrates that leaf architecture is an important tool in distinguishing infraspecific taxa just as other parameters used by taxonomists to recognize differences among plants. It is a good tool for plant identification especially in the case where flowers and fruits are not available. There is a need to conserve the genus Mussaenda Linn. due to its ornamental qualities and the over exploitation it is faced with from individuals for home yard beauties.

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