Pharmacognostic Importance of Epidermis

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·         Leaves offer diagnostic characteristics which serve in quality control of leaf drugs
§  Shape, size and wall structure of the epidermal cells
§  Straight –walled epidermal cells are found in medicinal plants such as coca and Senna leaves
§  Wavy-walled epidermal cells are in found in Datura stramonium, Hyoscyamus niger and Atropa belladonna.

§  Form, distribution and relation to epidermal cells of the stomata
§  Stomata are classified on the basis of subsidiary cells into;
·         Anomocytic Stomata
o   When cells surrounding the stomata resemble other epidermal cells
·         Anisocytic stomata
o   Stoma is surrounded by three or four subsidiary cells one of which is markedly smaller than others
·         Paracytic stomata
o   Two subsidiary cells with their long axes parallel to the pore
·         Diacytic stomata
o   Two subsidiary cells with their long axis at right angle to the pore of the stomata
o   Variations among anisocytic, paracytic and diacytic types of stomata:
·         Actinocytic type
o   Subsidiary cells are arranged along the radii of a circle

§  Form, distribution and abundance of epidermal trichomes
§   Trichomes offer physical and chemical protection from microbes, aphids and insects.
§  Types of trichomes are characteristic of a plant family or genus
§  Clothing trichomes –cover surface of the leaf
§  Glandular trichomes –may be unicellular or multicellular (they store ergastic/drug substances)

·         Multicellular trichomes may be;
o   Uniseriate, biseriate, multiseriate or complicated branched structures

Green Leaves

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