Morphology of Some Species in the Subfamily Papilionoideae


  • Joan Adeola OWOLABI Obafemi Awolowo University, Department of Botany, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria (NG)
  • Olubukola ADEDEJI Depoartment of Botany, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria (NG)



morphology; Papilionoideae; tribe; character; taxonomy


Morphological study of ten species in the subfamily Papilionoideae was carried out with the view to documenting diagnostic characters that would distinguish or group the species. The species studied belong to four tribes, namely: tribe Desmodieae – Desmodium tortuosum (Sw.) DC., Desmodium scorpiurus (Sw.) Desv., Desmodium adscendens (Sw.) DC., tribe Phaseoleae – Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp., Calopogonium mucunoides Desv., Centrosema molle (Mart.) ex. Benth., Mucuna pruriens (Linn.) Walp., Vigna unguiculata (Linn.) Walp., tribe Crotalarieae – Crotalaria retusa Linn., tribe Robinieae – Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Walp. Qualitative and quantitative traits which had not been documented in previous works, especially in Nigeria, were studied. These include plant life span; leaf/leaflet apex, base, margin and pubescence; stem type, colour, shape and pubescence; sepal colour and pubescence; nature of margin of petal standard and presence or absence of pedicel; fruit colour, pubescence, tip and shape; seed colour, shape, surface and presence or absence of prominent hilum on the seed; number of seeds per fruit; pedicel length; length and width of petal standard, keel and wing. Characters of taxonomic value documented in this study were leaf type, leaf shape, leaf base, petiole type, stem type, seed shape, petal standard length, petal keel length and petal wing width. Data were subjected to one - way analysis of variance using Duncan’s multiple range test. It was noted that the important characters that can be used in establishing taxonomic relationship in the sub-family Papilionoideae were leaf type, leaf shape, leaf base, petiole type, stem shape, petal colour, petal margin and seed shape.


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How to Cite

OWOLABI, J. A., & ADEDEJI, O. (2016). Morphology of Some Species in the Subfamily Papilionoideae. Notulae Scientia Biologicae, 8(2), 237–245.



Research articles
DOI: 10.15835/nsb829806