SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE PHYLLODES OF THE SHOE STRING ACACIA (ACACIA STENOPHYLLA A. CUNN. EX. BENTH.) GROWING IN KARACHI, PAKISTAN
Some observations on phyllodes of Acacia stenophylla A. Cunn. Ex, Benth.) were recorded with respect to their dimension (length, breadth and thickness) and dry mass contents and interrelationships between them were determined. Phyllodes were also studied for their phytochemicals, ionic and biochemical contents and the epidermal structure. Phyllodes had ridges and grooves on its surface. The length of the phyllodes (N = 110) from an tree growing in Karachi averaged to 21.03 ± 0.57 cm (2.50 – 33.10 cm), although appeared it to be negatively skewed but followed normal distribution when compared on the basis of Kolmogorov-Smirnoff z test (0.752, p < 0.625). The phyllode dry mass varied from 6.20 to 165mg (Mean: 85.2 ± 3.58 mg) exhibiting a negatively skewed distribution. The phyllodes of A. stenophylla were found to contain alkaloids, anthroquinones, saponins, sugars and carotenoids. There was more chlorophyll ‘a’ than chlorophyll ‘b’. Amongst the biochemicals estimated soluble sugar was in much higher concentration (14.6% DW) than phenols (3.94% DW). Protein concentration was very low (0.53% DW). The stomata on phyllodes were of diverse types - paracytic, anomocytic and tetracytic. The stomatal pore measured 16.7 µm in length and 5.91 µm in breadth. A. stenophylla appeared to be a potassiophillic species.