The influence of habitat and cultivation conditions on generative shoot production of Sandy Everlasting [Helichrysum arenarium (L.) Moench] and the content of flavonoid compounds in their inflorescences

ANNA KATARZYNA SAWILSKA

Abstract

Helichrysum arenarium (L.) Moench is a perennial belonging to the Asteraceae family. Its inflorescences are a valuable herbal material. Sandy Everlasting is also an ornamental plant: its blooming shoots are used for dry bouquets. The aim of this study was assessing the influence of habitat conditions on the number of generative shoots and dry mass of inflorescences per ramet (clump). Plants from experimental plantations and those growing in natural conditions were compared. The second aim was to measure the amount of flavonoids in inflorescences. It was determined that the number of generative shoots as well as dry mass of inflorescences depended significantly on the origin of Sandy Everlasting. Clumps of plants grown in plantations had on average 12-fold more generative shoots than those of plants from natural stands. Field-grown plants had also 17-fold higher dry inflorescence mass per ramet. Moreover, the amount of flavonoids in inflorescences from cultivated plants was higher (and attained its maximum at 1.19%). This means that Sandy Everlasting plantations could yield much more herbal material which is of a better quality than that from natural stands. An increased number of inflorescence shoots and a higher mass of flower heads in a clump obtained by in vitro methods can make Sandy Everlasting an attractive ornamental plant.
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