Morphology and anatomy of Justicia acuminatissima leaves.
Justicia acuminatissima (Miq.) Bremek., Acanthaceae, is a subshrub found in northern Brazil, where it is widely used by the population of this region as an anti-inflammatory medicine. Despite this popular use, there is no pharmacognostical data to support the correct identification of this species. We therefore performed a morpho-anatomical, histochemical and phytochemical analysis of the leaves of this species, using well-known methods. The leaves are simple, exstipulate, green on the surfaces, and pubescent, with a lanceolate shape, crenate margin, pinnate venation and decussate phyllotaxy. The parenchyma is palisade and spongy, and its vascular system is bilateral. Glandular and non-glandular trichome and cystoliths were also detected. There are diacytic stomata on both the adaxial and abaxial surfaces of epidermis. Histochemical tests revealed the presence of phenolic compounds, amide and protein. Phytochemical tests showed the presence of coumarins, tannins, catechins, saponins and steroids.