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Revista Brasileira de Plantas Medicinais

Print version ISSN 1516-0572


ROMITELLI, I.  and  MARTINS, M.B.G.. Comparison of leaf morphology and anatomy among Malva sylvestris ("gerânio-aromático"), Pelargonium graveolens ("falsa-malva") and Pelargonium odoratissimum ("gerânio-de-cheiro"). Rev. bras. plantas med. [online]. 2013, vol.15, n.1, pp.91-97. ISSN 1516-0572.

Malva sylvestris is generally confused with Pelargonium graveolens and Pelargonium odoratissimum due to similarities in their leaf morphology. The leaves of M. sylvestris have anthocyanins with scientifically proven cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, antitumor and antioxidant properties. The leaves of P. odoratissimum have essential oil with antibacterial and spasmolytic properties, while the essential oil from P. graveolens has antimicrobial and antifungal activity. The aim of this study was to morpho-anatomically analyze the leaves of these species, indicating differences that can be used to clarify controversies about their use as medicinal plants. To anatomically compare the structure of each plant, samples were observed by Light Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Leaf anatomy among species was quite different. Malva sylvestris showed capitate starry tector trichomes, as well as druses and mucilaginous cells. P. graveolens and P. odoratissimum differed as to trichomes. Both species had tector and glandular trichomes, and P. graveolens is distinguished for the greater height of tector trichomes and less quantity of the latter relative to P. odoratissimum. This study allowed the detection of anatomical differences, assisting in the taxonomy and classification of these species.

Keywords : leaf anatomy; Malva sylvestris; Pelargonium graveolens; Pelargonium odoratissimum; medicinal plants.

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