In recent taxonomic literature, Plantaginaceae has been enlarged to include several genera that were assigned to Scrophulariaceae. In the present study, the morphology of the whole plant and the anatomy of stem, leaf and petiole of the six wild Egyptian Plantago species as representatives of Plantaginaceae s.s., as well as 12 species belonging to ten Scrophulariaceae genera (Anarrhinum, Antirrhinum, Digitalis, Linaria, Kickxia, Nemesia, Russelia, Scrophularia, Verbascum, Veronica) were studied to determine whether such characters would be useful in transferring or retaining the Scrophulariaceous species in its original family. The data were analyzed by the NTSYS- PC program package using the UPGMA clustering method to clarify the interrelationships among the studied species. Three dendrogram were constructed. The first one was based on morphological criteria, the second on anatomical criteria while the third one represents a combination of both. The most obvious finding was the separation of the six Plantago species from the other 12 taxa. This finding substantiates the earlier taxonomic views in the isolation of the six studied Plantago species in a distinct monogeneric family (Plantaginaceae s.s.) away from the other Scrophulariaceae species based on the combination of both morphological and anatomical criteria.
Anatomy, morphology, Plantaginaceae, Scrophulariaceae