Comparative anatomical and morphological characteristics of two subspecies of Melissa officinalis L. (Lamiaceae)
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The aim of the research is to comprehensively compare the anatomical and morphological structures of plants of Melissa officinalis subsp. officinalis (‘Krymchanka’ and ‘Lada’ varieties) and of M. officinalis subsp. аltissima (Sm.) Arcang. These plants have pronounced differences in morphological features and production indexes. They are grown in the collection of aromatic plants of the Research Institute of Agriculture of the Crimea (Krymskaya Roza village, Belogorsky district of Crimea). These studies will allow us to supplement the botanical characteristics of both subspecies of M. officinalis, and also to evaluate their plasticity and possibilities of adaptation to growing conditions. For examination we collected plants in the flowering phase. Anatomical study was carried out using a fixed (alcohol: glycerin : water in a ratio of 1: 1: 1) and native preparation. A complex of mesomorphic and xeromorphic characters is established, that confirms the high plasticity and determines the adaptive capabilities of the species when introduced into various soil and climatic conditions. A variety of epidermal structures was revealed, which are represented by single and multicellular non-glandular trichomes and various types of glandular structures. Among them, trichomes with a multicellular pedicle and a unicellular head, which we found only in M. officinalis subsp. officinalis.