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Characterization of Indonesia Puff Ball/ Swan Ball/

Milkweed (Asclepias physocarpa)


SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K.,
RAMIREZ, C.

Bot 119 Plant


Plant Anatomy (Mr. Deemson Mones)
Department of Biology, College of Science,, University of the
Philippines- Baguio, Baguio City, 2600
1st Semester A.Y. 2013-2014

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We would like to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Deemson G. Mones for his positive
suggestions and beneficial critiques during the planning and development of this study. We are
also grateful to the staff of the Baguio Heritage Hill and Prayer Mountain, Mr. Wilson Dupais, Mr.
Moises Lup-ac,
ac, Mrs. Alice Ciriaco, Mrs. Rose Marie Agustin and Mr. Jared Tuazon for their help in
offering the resources in running the study. Assistance provided by the technicians, Mrs. Alice
Naniong, Mrs. Romely Fernandez, Mr. Jairus
Jairus Policarpio and Ms. Amor Pasigon of the instruments
room of the University of the Philippines was greatly appreciated.
Our special thanks are extended to Mr. Bryan T. Fabro, Ms. Crystal Joan Medrano, Mr.
Arvin Jeferson Jacala, Mr. Busto Jacala, Ms. Isal
Isaland
and Jacala and Ms. Jianne Jacala, for their aid with
the collection of our resources.
We wish to thank our families and friends, for their support and encouragement
throughout the study.
And to God, who made things possible.

SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K., RAMIREZ, C.

Characterization of Indonesia Puff Ball/ Swan Ball/


Milkweed (Asclepias physocarpa)
SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K.,
RAMIREZ, C.

Bot 119 Plant


Plant Anatomy (Mr. Deemson Mones)
Department of Biology, College of Science,, University of the
Philippines- Baguio, Baguio City, 2600
1st Semester A.Y. 2013-2014
I.

Introduction

It

From the quiet world of the old


Diplomat Hotel in Baguio City, lies a species
of milkweed known as Asclepias physocarpa.
physocarpa
It is commonly called in said place as
Indonesian puffball because of the bloated
appearance of its fruit; but, in general it is
often
n called as Swan plant, Balloon plant,

belongs

to

the

family,

Apocynaceae, which are usually trees,


shrubs, herbs, lianas, and vines that are
Laticifers that produces milky sap (Olson,
2013). Asclepias physocarpa was renamed
as Gomphocarpus physocarpus to reveal its
origin in Africa (Asclepi
(Asclepias physocarpa
Milkweed for Monarchs, 2008-2013).
2008

Oscar milkweed, and Family Jewels.

Just like any other milkweeds,


Asclepias species secrete a milky sap, with
poisonous cardiac glycosides that attracts
species

of

insects

such

as

Monarch

butterflies and serves as their source of


food. All of its parts are poisonous when
ingested but some species developed
resistance to its toxins and acquire it in
their system. It makes the affected species
poisonous too for their predators. It usually
grows 36-48 in., 4-6
6 ft., 6-8
6 ft. in height. Its
seeds are spread through breeze.
The

balloon

plant

is

often

categorized as tropicals and perennials


which usually bloom during mid-summer,
mid
late summer or early fall. They are widely
distributed in pantropical, subtropical, and
temperate zones.
Figure 1. Indonesian Puff Ball (Asclepias
(
physocarpa)

There exists various importance of


this plant. As mentioned earlier its sap is
used as primary source of food for some

SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K., RAMIREZ, C.

Characterization of Indonesia Puff Ball/ Swan Ball/


Milkweed (Asclepias physocarpa)
SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K.,
RAMIREZ, C.

Bot 119 Plant


Plant Anatomy (Mr. Deemson Mones)
Department of Biology, College of Science,, University of the
Philippines- Baguio, Baguio City, 2600
1st Semester A.Y. 2013-2014
insects. This plant is also used to cure

After sectioning, the sectioned plant

various ailments. They were also cultivated

parts were placed in labeled vials filled with

as

FAA solution to fix plant cells and tiss


tissues.

hypoallergenic

filling

for

pillows

(Evangelista, 2007).

After a few days of soaking in FAA, the

The Balloon plant has leaves, stem,


and roots, as their vegetative structures
which are known to

sectioned parts are now subjected to the


staining procedure.

belong in the

The fixed sections were placed in

Dicotyledonae. Its reproductive structures

40% ethyl alcohol to be dehydrated. The

are flowers, and a unique puffy fruit.

sections were rinsed with 50% ethanol for

Its unique fruit is circular and puffy


with soft bristles around
d it. The plants
unique appearance was the sole reason for
the

groups

characterization

and

the

presence of its sap which was discovered to


be poisonous.
II.

30 to 60 seconds. After rinsing, the


t sections
were now transferred to vials containing
1%

Safranin

in

50%

alcohol

and

haematoxylin. The sections were stained for


about 24 hours to achieve maximum
results.
After the preliminary staining, the

Methodology

sections were transferred to a petri dish

The plant specimen was collected at

with 50%
0% acidified alcohol to remove

Baguio Heritage Hill and Prayer Mountain,

excess stain. The sections were now

Diplomat Hotel
tel Baguio City. The plant

subjected to 95% alcohol for 5 minutes in

specimen was soaked in water in order to

order to halt the decolorizing effect of the

avoid desiccation and dehydration of plant

acidified alcohol. The sections were now

parts and further damage of plant tissues.

placed in a dish of Fast Green for 2-3


2

Different plant parts were subjected


to free-hand
hand sectioning including the stems,
roots, leaf, petiole and midrib. Casting
method was used for the leaves of the plant
specimen to obtain surface sections of the
epidermis of the leaf.

seconds and were washe


washed with 95% alcohol
to remove excess Fast Green stain. The
sections were now transferred to a dish of
50-50
50 mixture of xylene and absolute
alcohol. Afterwards, the sections were now
placed to a dish of xylene and were soaked

SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K., RAMIREZ, C.

Characterization of Indonesia Puff Ball/ Swan Ball/


Milkweed (Asclepias physocarpa)
SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K.,
RAMIREZ, C.

Bot 119 Plant


Plant Anatomy (Mr. Deemson Mones)
Department of Biology, College of Science,, University of the
Philippines- Baguio, Baguio City, 2600
1st Semester A.Y. 2013-2014
for about 10 minutes. The sections
sectio were

physocarpa

has

uniseriate

placed in a glass slide and a drop of xylene

epidermis. It has simple trichomes.

was added to every section to avoid

These trichomes are unbranched and

desiccation and was examined if the

can be classified as simple hairs.

sections were suitable for mounting.


The desired sections were mounted
on clean glass slides using Canada balsam
and cover slip was placed above the glass
slide with the mounted specimen. The
specimens were allowed to dry and
properly labeled.

III.

Figure 3. Epidermis of stem

Results/Characterization

exhibiting
ing simple hairs

DERMAL TISSUES

VASCULAR TISSUES
In, Leaves a vascular cambium is

present in between the primary xylem and


and phloem.

Figure 2. epidermis with cuticle


Basing from the figure of the crosscross
section of stem shown above, Asclepias

Figure 4. leaf vascular tissues phloem (ph),


and xylem (xy)

SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K., RAMIREZ, C.

Characterization of Indonesia Puff Ball/ Swan Ball/


Milkweed (Asclepias physocarpa)
SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K.,
RAMIREZ, C.

Bot 119 Plant


Plant Anatomy (Mr. Deemson Mones)
Department of Biology, College of Science,, University of the
Philippines- Baguio, Baguio City, 2600
1st Semester A.Y. 2013-2014
In stem, the phloem form circular
bundles and forming a cylinder around the
surface of the plant. The vascular cambium
is in between the primary xylem and
phloem. The phloem is posterior to the
vascular

cambium..

It

has

sclerified

tracheids and is composed of sieve tube


elements.

Figure 6.. Tracheid( tr), sieve tube elements


(sv)
The xylem region has sclerified
tracheids

and

the

phloem

region

is

composed of sieve tube elements.

Figure 5.. stem vascular tissues, phloem


(ph), xylem (xy)
In the roots, the xylem region
dominates most of its bulk. A vascular
cambium is present in between the phloem
and xylem and cork
rk cambium is also
present in between the phellem and
phelloderm which is posterior to the cortex.

Figure 7.. roots vascular tissues, xylem (xy)


and phloem (ph)

SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K., RAMIREZ, C.

Characterization of Indonesia Puff Ball/ Swan Ball/


Milkweed (Asclepias physocarpa)
SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K.,
RAMIREZ, C.

Bot 119 Plant


Plant Anatomy (Mr. Deemson Mones)
Department of Biology, College of Science,, University of the
Philippines- Baguio, Baguio City, 2600
1st Semester A.Y. 2013-2014

ROOT
In cross-section,
section, the xylem forms

most of the bulk of the root. A vascular


cambium is present in between the xylem
and phloem. Cortex is also present and is
isodiametric in shape. It has no pith. The
roots form secondary growth; therefore, it
has cork cambium that gives rise to its
phellem and phelloderm.
Asclepias physocarpa,, has a fibrous

Figure 9.. Xylem ray

type of root system. It is woody and


The xylem region dominates most of

undergoes secondary growth.

its bulk. A vascular cambium is present in


between the phloem and xylem and cork
cambium is also present in between the
phellem and phelloderm which is posterior
to the cortex.

STEM
The phloem forms circular bundles

and

forming

cylinder

around

the

cylindrical portion of the plant body. The


vascular cambium is in between the
primary xylem and phloem. The phloem is
posterior to the vascular cambium
Figure 8.. xylem (xy), vascular cambium
(v.c), phloem (ph), xylem ray, phelloderm,
phellogen, phellem

LEAF

SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K., RAMIREZ, C.

Characterization of Indonesia Puff Ball/ Swan Ball/


Milkweed (Asclepias physocarpa)
SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K.,
RAMIREZ, C.

Bot 119 Plant


Plant Anatomy (Mr. Deemson Mones)
Department of Biology, College of Science,, University of the
Philippines- Baguio, Baguio City, 2600
1st Semester A.Y. 2013-2014
The leaves are entire, simple and
lanceolate to linear in form. It is deciduous
and petiolate.

hair trichomes in the epidermis was also


evident.

Figure 11.. simple hairs trichomes (tr),


xylem (xy), phloem (ph), vascular cambium
(v.c), isodiametric parenchyma (iso),
uniseriate epidermis (ep)
Figure 10.. Lanceolate to linear in form
leaves
The cross section of the leaf shows
that it truly belongs to the eudicots because
of the presence of an adaxial palisade
mesophyll layer and an abaxial spongy
mesophyll

layer.

It

has

uniseriate

epidermis with trichomes. The palisade


mesophyll

is

composed

of

elongated

parenchyma cells; while the spongy layer is


composed of spongy irregular parenchyma

Figure 12.. elongated palisade mesophyll


(pd), irregular spongy mesophyll

cells. The presence of cuticle and simple

SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K., RAMIREZ, C.

Characterization of Indonesia Puff Ball/ Swan Ball/


Milkweed (Asclepias physocarpa)
SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K.,
RAMIREZ, C.

Bot 119 Plant


Plant Anatomy (Mr. Deemson Mones)
Department of Biology, College of Science,, University of the
Philippines- Baguio, Baguio City, 2600
1st Semester A.Y. 2013-2014

FRUIT

The follicles are pale green, and in


shape of an inflated sphere. It is covered

SECONDARY GROWTH
Since there is secondary growth,

periderm is present in stems and roots


roots.

with rough hairs.


irs. It reaches three inches in
diameter.

STOMATAL COMPLEX
The plant has bean or kidneykidney

shaped guard cells indicating that it is a


eudicot. The stomatal complex as observed
was paracytic.

Figure 15. Periderm evident in the stem

GENERAL TAXONOMIC
DESCRIPTION

Shrubby perennial, much branched from


the base, up to 1.5(2.5)
2.5) m tall, all parts
with latex, branches erect, densely hairy
when young, woody at base, with taproot.
Leaves opposite, simple
mple and entire; petiole
110
10 mm long; blade linear to narrowly
linear-elliptical, (2.5)4
12 cm (0.2)0.3
Figure 13. Stomatal complex in the leaf and
a simple trichome emerging from it

0.8(1.3)
1.3) cm, base cuneate, apex attenuate,
mucronate, yellowish-green,
green, sparsely to
densely hairy with soft white hairs on veins.
Inflorescences an extra
extra-axillary nodding
umbel, 47(12)-flowered;
flowered; peduncle 1.5
1.5
3(4)
4) cm long; bracts filiform, deciduous.
Flowers bisexual, regular, 5
5-merous; pedicel
12.5
2.5

Figure 14. Stomatal complex with guard


cell and a paracytic subsidiary cell

cm

long;

sepals

lanceolate

or

triangular, 25
5 mm long, attenuate; corolla
reflexed, white, yellowish
yellowis or pink, lobes

SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K., RAMIREZ, C.

Characterization of Indonesia Puff Ball/ Swan Ball/


Milkweed (Asclepias physocarpa)
SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K.,
RAMIREZ, C.

Bot 119 Plant


Plant Anatomy (Mr. Deemson Mones)
Department of Biology, College of Science,, University of the
Philippines- Baguio, Baguio City, 2600
1st Semester A.Y. 2013-2014
ovate, 58 mm 35
5 mm, acute, margins

latex, meaning juice in Latin. Although the

ciliate; corona lobes attached 11.5


1
mm

structures bearing latex may be single cells

above base of staminal column, laterally

or series of fused cells, both


bo kinds often

compressed, 24 mm 1.53
3 mm, as tall as

produce complex systems of tube-like


tube

the column, upper margins entire, proximal

growth form in which recognition of the

margins a pair of falcate teeth c. 11.5 mm

limits

long, pointing back along the upper margins

problematical. The term laticifer therefore

of the lobe or curved down into the cavity;

appears most useful if applied to either a

anther wings 1.52


2 mm long; ovary

single cell or a structure resulting fro


from

superior, carpels 2, free, stigma head flat.

fusion of cells (Evert, 2006).

Fruit a pair of upright follicles, each follicle


ovoid, 47 cm 1.52.5
2.5 cm, tapering
ta
gradually or abruptly into a long beak,
strongly or weakly inflated, balloon
balloon-like,
papery, pale green, sometimes tinged
reddish, short-hairy,
hairy, with or without soft
spiny processes, many-seeded.
seeded. Seeds ovate
with one convex and one concave face, 3.5
3.5
5 mm c. 2 mm, warted, brownish grey,
coma 2.53 cm long.

of

individual

The
laticifers

cells

branched
of

Asclepiadaceae,

the

is

highly

nonarticulated
Euphorbiaceae,

Apocynaceae,

and

Moraceae arise during the development of


the embryo in the form of relatively few
primordia,

or

initials,

then

grow

concomitantly with the plant into branched


systems permeating the whole plant body
(Mahlberg,

1961,

1963;

Cass,

1985;

Murugan and Inamdar, 1987; Rudall, 1987,

NONARTICULATED BRANCHED

1994; van Veenendaal and den Outer, 1990;

LATICIFERS IN Asclepias

Roy and De, 1992; Da Cunha et al., 1998).

physocarpa

In the Asclepiadaceae, th
the laticifer

Laticifers are cells or series of

initials appear in the embryo as the

connected
ected cells containing a fluid called

cotyledons are being initiated, and are

latex (plural, latices) and forming systems

located in the plane of the embryo that later

that permeate various tissues of the plant

represents the cotyledonary node. In some

body. The word laticifer and its adjectival

species, the initials arise in the outer region

form laticiferous are derived from the word

of the future vascular cylinder (i.e., from the

SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K., RAMIREZ, C.

Characterization of Indonesia Puff Ball/ Swan Ball/


Milkweed (Asclepias physocarpa)
SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K.,
RAMIREZ, C.

Bot 119 Plant


Plant Anatomy (Mr. Deemson Mones)
Department of Biology, College of Science,, University of the
Philippines- Baguio, Baguio City, 2600
1st Semester A.Y. 2013-2014
procambium

that

will

develop

into

Danaus

plexippus))

and

have

devised

protophloem); in others, they arise just

strategies to subvert the plant's defenses.

outside the future vascular cylinder. In

(Angrawal, A. and M.. Fishbein., 2006)

either case, the laticifer initials are closely


associated spatially with the phloem. The

IV.

SUMMARY

number of initials varies both between


be
and

From the family Apocynaceae, the

within species. The initials form protrusions

tropical perennial milkweed Indonesian

in various directions, and the apices of these

puffball (Asclepias
Asclepias physocarpa
physocarpa) was chosen

protrusions push their way intercellularly

by the group to characterize because of the

among the surrounding cells by intrusive

unique puffy appearance of its fruit. It has a

growth, in a manner resembling the growth

uniseriate epidermis, simple hair trichomes,

of a fungal hypha. Typically


y the laticifer

kidney-shaped
shaped guard cells and paracytic

initials penetrate downward into the root

stomatal complex. Since there is secondary

and upward into the cotyledons and toward

growth, periderm and vascular cambium

the shoot apex. Additional branches rapidly

are present in stems and roots. The xylem

penetrate the cortex, extending as far as the

region has sclerified tracheids and the

sub-epidermal
epidermal layer; others penetrate the

phloem region is composed of sieve tube

pith (Evert, 2013).

elements in stems and roots. The leaves are

FUNCTION
TION OF LATICIFERS

entire, simple and lanceolate to linear in


form. There is the presence of an adaxial

The majority, if not all, of the

elongated parenchyma palisade mesophyll

milkweedsin
in particular, the members of

layer and an abaxial irregular parenchyma

the

spongy

Genus

Asclepias,

including A.

mesophyll

layer.

Asclepias

physocarpacontain
contain the sticky white latex

physocarpa has a fibrous type of root

sap that you see when you cut or break the

system. Its cortex is isodiametric in shape.

leaves or stems. The latex, plus other

The flower is umbels


mbels of white stellate

chemical
al components such as cardenolides,

flowers and the fruit is a pod. Abundance of

are the plants defense against herbivores.

laticifers was also present in the plant body.

There are insects that do thrive on the


milkweeds (e.g, the monarch butterfly,

V.

REFERENCES

SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K., RAMIREZ, C.

Characterization of Indonesia Puff Ball/ Swan Ball/


Milkweed (Asclepias physocarpa)
SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K.,
RAMIREZ, C.

Bot 119 Plant


Plant Anatomy (Mr. Deemson Mones)
Department of Biology, College of Science,, University of the
Philippines- Baguio, Baguio City, 2600
1st Semester A.Y. 2013-2014

Asclepias physocarpa. Retrieved


from
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/ecology common_milkweed.htm.
Accessed on September 14
14, 2013.
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bush, Oscar,Hairy
Balls,
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Milkweed
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http://www.joyfulbutterf
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14, 2013.
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Balloon%20Plant.html.
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Asclepias.(2013). Retrieved
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Everitt, J.H.; Lonard, R.L., Little, C.R.
(2007). Weeds in South Texas and

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Tech University Press. ISBN 089672-614-2
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2003
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2013-02-05.
Ramanujan, Krishna (Winter 2008).
Discoveries: Milkweed evolves to
shrug
rug
off
predation". Northern
Woodlands (Center for Northern
Woodlands Education) 15 (4): 56.
Evangelista, R.L. (2007). "Milkweed
seed wing removal to improve oil
extraction". Industrial Crops and
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McCullough, Elizabeth A. (April
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Asclepias
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(2003). Tropical Flowering Plants: A
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to
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SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K., RAMIREZ, C.

Characterization of Indonesia Puff Ball/ Swan Ball/


Milkweed (Asclepias physocarpa)
SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K.,
RAMIREZ, C.

Bot 119 Plant


Plant Anatomy (Mr. Deemson Mones)
Department of Biology, College of Science,, University of the
Philippines- Baguio, Baguio City, 2600
1st Semester A.Y. 2013-2014

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APPENDIX:

Asclepias physocarpa (Milkweed) fruit

SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K., RAMIREZ, C.

Characterization of Indonesia Puff Ball/ Swan Ball/


Milkweed (Asclepias physocarpa)
SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K.,
RAMIREZ, C.

Bot 119 Plant


Plant Anatomy (Mr. Deemson Mones)
Department of Biology, College of Science,, University of the
Philippines- Baguio, Baguio City, 2600
1st Semester A.Y. 2013-2014

Asclepias
Ascle
physocarpa (Milkweed) flowers

SORIANO, D.F., MAYRINA, M., SOLOMON, R., PAGLINGAYEN K., RAMIREZ, C.