The genus Aloe
has been the subject of several chemotaxonomic and phytochemical investigations. Aloe Ferox
is an important source of
biologically active compounds like anthrones, chromones, pyrones, and flavonoids. It is a plant used extensively in traditional medicine. Despite the
myriad of studies on the pharmacological profile of the plant, there still exists a dearth of scientific literature on the anatomical and morphological
attributes of this important medicinal plant.
Materials and Methods:
Hence, the objective of this study was to examine the foliar anatomy and micromorphological characteristics of A. ferox
using light microscope and scanning electron microscope and to determine the elemental composition of the leaf sections by energy dispersive x-ray
Epidermal cells varied from round, square to hexagonal, with distinctive anticlinal walls and sunken stomata, equally distributed on both the
adaxial and abaxial surfaces were observed. There were vertically elongated palisade cells with numerous chloroplasts in the palisade mesophyll layer.
The EDXS analysis revealed Ca, K, S, Al, Mg, and Si as the major constituents of crystals present in the mesophyll.
Information on the foliar anatomy and micromorphology can further enlightened our perceptions on the inherent interrelationships
between structure and function as regards the synthesis and secretion of bioactive secondary metabolites by plants.