SIZE VARIATION AND SURFACE STRUCTURE OF PODS AND SEEDS OF BAUHINIA RACEMOSA LAMK.
Size variation and surface structure of pods and seeds of Bauhinia racemosa are described. The immature and developing fruits of B. racemosa are twisted strap like dark green, and photosynthesizing. The mature fruits mostly twisted, oblong and compressed chocolate brown, turgid, and apex tapered. Pod surface has ridges and grooves. The mature pods of B. racemosa averaged to 15.79 ± 0.273 cm (4.60 – 25.70 cm) in length and 2.02 ± 0.016 cm (1.20-2.8 cm) in breadth. An average pod weighed 9.19 ± 0.23g (1.56 – 18.25g; CV: 36.64%) and yielded on an average 10.27 ± 0.35 seeds. The surface of the pods had non-glandular unicellular conical trichomes (80-150 ?m), denser in the depressed areas. The inner diameter of trichome stub was 7.98 ?m and outer diameter of 17.1 ?m. The lumen of broken trichomes was often filled with occluded materials. In B. racemosa, stomata were present only on the outer epidermis of the pericarp but not on the inner epidermal lining of the seed chamber. Pod wall in B. racemosa appeared to have some air spaces. The epidermal lining of the seed chamber appeared to be quite smooth and provided with so many openings of the micro-tunnels running in the pod wall. Single seed weight based on 1170 seeds weighed individually averaged to 93.20 ± 0.74mg (25.0 – 194.0 mg, CV: 27.14%) i.e. varying by 7.76-folds. The seeds were foveolate (having pits on the surface). The results are discussed in view of the possible role of green pod wall and seeds in pod development and gaseous exchange across pod wall.