Foliar Epidermal Studies of Thirty-Five Accessions of Panicum Maximum Jacq. in Nigeria
The foliar epidermis of 35 accessions of Panicum maximum, were studied. The results show that all the accessions are amphistomatic possessing paracytic type of stomata on both the adaxial and abaxial epidermal surfaces. The subsidiary cells are predominantly triangular in shape but often low-dome too. The intercostals short cells are mostly solitary but occasionally paired, often associated with silica containing cells. Prickle hair are generally absent on the costal zone of the abaxial surface but present on the costal zone of the adaxial surface and intercostal zones of both surfaces at different frequencies. The microhair also occurs at different frequencies. Accession 35 collected from a transition zone marking the southern end of major distribution of P. maximum is unique in having the biggest stomata size and 3 - 4 stomata bands on the intercostal zone. The implication of this as related to the ecologies of' the Sahel, Guinea and Sudan Savanna Zones of Nigeria is discussed.