Differentiation of Pimpinella saxifraga L. s.l. in comparative, morphological and phytochemical analyses
The paper presents study results on Pimpinella saxifraga L. s.l. which belongs to critical species whose taxonomy has not been finally determined, so far. Because of the fact that in this genus, there occur species with acknowledged usefulness (P. anisum L., and P. anisetum Boiss. et Ball) and possess therapeutic importance [among others: P. saxifraga L., P. tragium Vill., P. major (L.)Huds.], the presented studies can be helpful in the determination of their natural affinity. Burnet saxifrage, P. saxifraga, was the research object treated as an aggregation of forms which are related to each others because of a high degree of structural polymorphism. Morphological studies were carried out on herbarium material collected in 34 localities in West Poland (Wielkopolska-Kuyavia Lowland). Results of this part of studies that in that have shown terrain, there occur two separate forms (“nigra” and “saxifraga”), whereby the “nigra” form occurs significantly more frequently than the “saxifraga” one. The ranges of biometrical measurements of some features are overlapping indicating that there occur plants with an intermediate character (hybrids?). In the phytochemical analysis of roots, it was that there occurred essential oil which contained eight components. The domination of the “nigra” form has been confirmed. Its essential oil different than the oil of the “saxifraga” form, it has a different colourand its total content is usually increased. In the composition of both forms (“nigra” and “saxifraga”), there definitely dominate myrcene and limonene. The “nigra” form is characterized by the absence of cymene, while “saxifraga” form has no γ-terpinene and only some traces of cymene and sabinene.