Submitted: 14 Mar 2015
Accepted: 21 Apr 2015
First published online: 31 May 2015
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Int J Phytocos Nat Ingred. 2015;2(1):4.
doi: 10.15171/ijpni.2015.04
  Abstract View: 1575
  PDF Download: 1761

Original Research

Identity Characteristics of three Guatemalan Edible and Medicinal species 

Abstract

The diagnostic characteristics for the correct identification of Fernaldia pandurata, Cucurbita argyrosperma and Solanum nigrescens, popularly used as food and medicine, were established in the present study. The macroscopical and microscopical description, histochemical screening of secondary metabolites, organoleptical analysis of fresh and dry drug, acute toxicity, determination of total and acid ashes, and moisture percent for each species, were carried out. F. pandurata flowers, strongly aromatic and greenish-white in fresh plant material, become brown in the dry drug, which include some leaves and stem parts. Microscopically, large epidermal cells, evident cuticle, lacunar collenchyma, paracytic type stomata, and different varieties of hairs, appear. Non-glandular hairs show multicellular, verrucous, or acicular shape, and diversity of bases; glandular ones with unicellular blunt heads, and unicellular short stalks; sclereids, prismatic calcium oxalate crystals and pollen of circular shape with size ranges from 60-80 microns and pore-like opening were also found. C. argyrosperma seed with green color, microscopically exhibits reticulated cover and undulations; the leaves and stem, like other Cucurbitaceae members, show angular collenchyma, anomocytic type stomata, bicolateral vascular bounds surrounded by sclerenchyma, abundant non-glandular multicellular large and short elevated hairs, multicellular glandular ones with unicellular foot. S. nigrescens flowers are pale purple or white and exhibit a dark zone near de base; microscopically, leaves and stem shows non-glandular hairs, multicellular, verrucous with four and six cells in the base, plains and unicellular with blunt end with diversity of bases, glandular ones with unicellular foot and multicellular blunt heads and calcium oxalate druses. None of the species showed significant toxicity.
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