• Oluwaseun Faith Akinyemi Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta
  • Muyiwa Segun Ayodele Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta
  • Emily I. Ayo-John Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta
Keywords: Characterization, Morphology, Ocimum, Species, Lamiaceae


The genus Ocimum (Lamiaceae) is made up of aromatic plants that have economic and medicinal benefits but their taxonomy has been difficult. In tandem with this, are other plants with emission of strong fragrance, but not of the Ocimum group. Morphological studies were conducted on certain Ocimum species in the southwest states of Nigeria to hdelimit some members of the genus. From the six states in the Southwest Nigeria, the seeds of one hundred and twenty accessions belonging to Ocimum basilicum L. (B-accessions), O. canum L. (C- accessions) and O. gratissimum L. (G-accessions) were collected. In three replicates in a single row, the seeds of each accession were planted in plastic pots of 10 litre capacity, filled with topsoil. Forty-five accessions were purposively selected based on the rate of germination. Data was collected on the qualitative and quantitative characters from vegetative, floral and fruit (nutlets) features. Statistical analyses of the quantitative data were performed using SAS/PC1 version 9.01. The results separated the B-accessions early on and confirmed that they were not part of the Ocimum group. The B-accessions, however, belonged to another genus Hy­ptis in the family. Based on leaf shapes, leaf colour, leaf apices, leaf pubescence, inflorescence arrangement and flower colours, five distinct morpho-types of Ocimum, were observed. This study revealed the existence of morphological variations among the C-accessions. These characteristics may be explored by plant breeders and taxonomists for sustainable utilization of the Ocimum germplasm.

Author Biographies

Oluwaseun Faith Akinyemi, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta

Department of Pure and applied Botany

Lecturer I

Muyiwa Segun Ayodele, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta

Department of Pure and applied Botany


Emily I. Ayo-John, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta

Department of Crop protection, College of Plant science and crop production



Akinyemi, O.F. and Ayodele, M.S. (2015). Pod/seed attributes and their role in taxonomic delimitation on some species of Senna (Caesalpiniaceae). Feddes Repertorium 126, 77–82. DOI:

Brites, D. and Valladares, F. (2015). Implications of opposite phyllotaxis for light interception efficiency of Mediterranean woody plants. Tree 19(6):671-679 DOI:

Burkill, H.M. (1995). The useful Plants of West Tropical Africa. 2nd Edition. Vol. 3: Families J-L. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 93: 19-27.

Carovic-Stanko, K., Salinovic, A., Grdisa, M., Liber, Z., Kolak, I. and Satovic, Z. (2011). Efficiency of Morphological trait descriptors in delimiting of Ocimum basilicum Accessions. Plant Biosystems- an International Journal Dealing with all Aspects of Plant Biology: Official Journal of the Societa Botanica Italiana 145(2): 298-305. DOI:

Celep, F. and Dogan, M. (2010). Salvia ekimicima (Lamiaceae). A new species from Turkey. Annual Botany Fem. 47:63-66. DOI:

Chowdhurry, T., Mandal, A., Roy, C. and Sarker, D. (2017). Diversity of the genus Ocimum (Lamiaceae) through morpho-molecular (RAPD) and Chemical (GC-MC) analysis. Journal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology 15(1): 275-286. DOI:

Harder, L. D. and Prusinkiewicz, P. (2013). The interplay between inflorescence development and function as the crucible of architectural diversity. Annals of botany, 112(8)1: 1477-1493. DOI:

Hedge, I.C. (1992). A survey of the biogeography of the Labiatae. In: Harley, R.M. and Reynolds, T. (Eds) Advances in Labiatae Sciences. Royal Botanical garden, London


Heinrich, M., Barnes, J., Gibbons, S. and Williamson, E. (2003). Families yielding important phytopharmaceuticals in Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, ISBN: 0443071322, pp.320.

Hutchinson, J. and Dalziel, J. (1963). Flora of West Tropical Africa. Second Edition. Vol. II. Crown Agents London pp 450.

Inyama, C.N., Mbagwu, F.N. and Duru, C.M. (2015). Morphological Relationship among three Chrysophyllum species and their Taxonomic Implication. Medical Aromatic Plants 4: 201. doi:10.4172/2167-0412.1000201 DOI:

Jaric, S.V., Durdevic, C.A., Macukanovic-Jocic, M.P. and Gajie, G.M. (2010). Mophometric Characteristicsand Nectar potential of O. basilicum L. var. genovese (Lamiaceae) in relation to microclimatic and edaphic Environmental factors. Periodicun Biologorum 112(3): 283-291.

Javanmardi, J., Khalighi, A., Kashi, A., Bais, H. andVivanco, J. (2002). Chemical characterization of Basil Ocimum basilicum L.) found in Local Accessions and used in Traditional Medicines in Iran. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 50(21): 5878-5883. DOI:

Marroti, M., Piccaglia, R., and Giovanelli, E. (1996). Differences in Essential oil composition of Basil (Ocimum basilicum) Italian Cultivars related to morphological characteristics. Journal of Agriculture and Food chemistry 44(12): 3926 - 3929. DOI:

Nahak, G., Mishra, R.C. and Sahu, R. K. (2011). Taxonomic Distribution, Medicinal Properties and Drug Development Potentiality of Ocimum (Tulsi). Drug Invention Today 3(6): 95-113

NPC, (2006). National Population Commission of Nigeria data portal.

Okunola, A.I., Hassan, G.F. and Ogungbite, O.C. (2016). Growth and Nutritional Qualities of Three Ocimum species as affected by methods of propagation. International Journal of Horticulture and Forestry Research 1(1):1-12 DOI:

Patel, D.S., Khare, P.K. and Chaurasia, B. (2015). Identification of Morphologically Close species of Ocimum L. on the basis of seed characters. Indian Journal of Plant Sciences 4(1): 16-18.

Paton, A. and Putievsky, E. (1996). Taxonomic Problems and Cytotaxonomic relationships between and within varieties of Ocimum basilicum and related species (Labiatete). Kew Bulletin. 51(3): 509 -524. DOI:

Paton, A., Harley, M.R. and Harley, M.M. (1999). Ocimum: An Overview of Classifification and Relationships. Herbarium Royal Botanic Gardens.

Sergent, R., Goodwillie, C., Kalisz, S. Ree, R. (2007). Phylogenetic Evidence for a Flower size and Number Trade off. American Journal of Botany 94 (12): 2059-2062. DOI:

Shazia, E., Muhammad, N., Shahid, M. and Muhammad, I. (2011). Genetic variation in the Living Repository of Ocimum Germplasm. Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Research 24: 1-4.

Singh, A. P., Dwivedi S., Bharti, S., Scrvastava, A., Singh, V. and Khanuja, S. P. (2004). Phylogenetic relationships as in Ocimum revealed by RAPD markers. Euphytica, 136: 11-20. In: Chrsitina, V. and Annmalai, A. (2013) Nucleotide Based Validation of Ocimum species by evaluating three candidate barcodes of the chloroplast region. Molecular Ecology Resources 14:60-68. DOI:

Sultan, S. E. (1987) Evolutionary implications of phenotypic plasticity in plants. Evolution Biology 21:127-176 DOI:

Taia, W.K. (2005). Modern Trends in Plant Taxonomy. Asian Journal of Plant Sciences 4(2): 184-206. DOI:

Zheljazkov, V.D. Cantrell, C.H., Tekwani, B and Khan, S.I. (2008). Content, Composition and Bioactivity of the Essential oils of three Basil Genotypes as a function of Harvesting. Journal of Agriculture and food chemistry 56 (2): 380-385 DOI:

How to Cite