Authors: Yee, Chew Ming; Rahman, Rafidah Abdul; Haron, Noorma Wati
Publication: Pakistan Journal of Botany
Year: 2012
Genera: Chirita

Chirita Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don are herbs of limestone while Utricularia L. are small carnivorous herbs of wet habitats. Seed testa surface has proved to provide diagnostic characters for sections Chirita and Microchirita C.B.Clarke in the genus Chirita, replacing the stigma character previously used and showed less variation, therefore caused confusion in the past. Chirita lacunosa (Hook.f.) B.L. Burtt from section Chirita (the only species in this section in Peninsular Malaysia) has a reticulate testa while other species from section Microchirita possess knobbly or cannicolate testa. For the genus Utricularia, species from section Phyllaria (Kurz) Kamiénski often show variable macro-characters, but micro-characters such as seed testa are less variable and provide diagnostic characters for species determination. For example, a specimen from the highlands of Kelantan was distinguished from the similar morphology but more common Utricularia striatula Sm. by its testa and could be identified as U. furcellata Oliv., a rare species formerly recorded only from North East India. The testa cells of U. furcellata have long processes with knobbly tips, while those of U. striatula have glochidiate processes with stellate tips. SEM model JOEL and FEI were used to examine both genera.