Many species in the family Capparaceae are economically important as wild vegetables with medicinal and nutritive values. Among the species is Cleome gynandra commonly known as spider plant. Several medicinal uses of the species have been ascribed to its aerial parts. This study investigated the micro morphological features and quantified the elemental composition of the aerial parts of C. gynandra. Fresh leaves, stems and roots of the plant were examined for their anatomy and micromorphological characteristics with the use of light scanning electron microscope. The chemical constituent of the aerial parts was also done using x- ray spectroscopy dispersing energy. It was observed the asymmetrically shaped epidermal cells having cell wall undulating with four subsidiary cells around the stomata. The leaves have anomocyctic stomata which are more distributed in the abaxial surface than the adaxial surface. The average guard cells’ length and width in the abaxial surface are 0.09 ± 0.01 mm and 0.08 ± 0.01 mm respectively while that of adaxial surface are 0.1± 0.01 mm and 0.07 ± 0.01 mm respectively. The EDXS microanalysis of the leaf revealed the presence of phosphorus, manganese, iron, calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium and zinc as the main composition of the crystals in the stomata pores and the mesophyll. The knowledge of the plant’s ultra-morphological characteristics and elemental composition can further help in proper identification to ascertain its use for herbal remedy and consumption.
Keywords : Scanning electron microscopy, Cleome gynandra, mineral elements, light microscopy, x-ray spectroscopy.