MORPHOTAXONOMIC RE-CLASSIFICATION OF C. ANNUUM VAR. ACCUMINATUM FINGERH AS C. FRUTESCENS VAR. ACCUMINATUM
The taxonomic identities of some Capsicum varieties are somewhat controversial. This study is aimed at using morphological characters to ascertain the Capsicum species to which variety accuminatum belongs. The study was conducted at the Experimental Plot of the Department of Pure and Applied Botany, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (Latitude: 7.214952; Longitude: 3.437090) using a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) in 10 replicates. Quantitative and qualitative characters were evaluated through measurements and visual observation respectively. Data were analyzed using Statistical Analysis Systems version 9.2 and Duncan's Multiple Range Test was used to separate means at p ˂ 0.05. The reults revealed erect growth habit, lanceolate leaf shape, pendant flower position, white corolla colour, obtuse fruit shape at pedicel, elongated fruit shape, and pointed fruit shape at blossom end on variety accuminatum as characteristic features of C. frutescens. Plant canopy width 103.41±(4.30) cm, number of branches per plant 24.70±(0.15), days to flowering 73±(0.21), fruit length 11.69±(0.07) cm and fruit width 5.78±(0.05) cm in variety accuminatum are closer to mean values in C. frutescens. This study showed that variety accuminatum is morphologically and evolutionary related to C. frutescens. Therefore, re-naming of C. annuum var. accuminatum is hereby suggested and proposed to be C. frutescens var. accuminatum.