Setting of southern sweet-grass plantation with stem cuttings obtained by division of maternal plants
Southern sweet-grass (Hierochloë australis /Schrad./ Roem. & Schult.) is a perennial, wild growing tuft grass occurring in North-East Poland, Belarus and Finland. In Poland the species is under the partial legal protection. The raw material harvested from this plant are leaves rich in coumarins, mainly in coumarin responsible for specific sweet aroma of leaves. They are used mostly for the aromatization of alcohol and tobacco products. Due to high demand for the raw material and decrease in the natural resources of the species, it is advisable to introduce the plant into cultivation. In the presented study vegetative planting stock (1-, 2-, and 4-stem cuttings) were used to set the plantation of southern sweet-grass. The influence of the planting stock type on the mass of leaves and their quality in the first and second year of plant vegetation as well as the mass of seeds from two-year-old plants were investigated. The highest number of well rooted plants was obtained from 4-stem cuttings (74.07%) and the least – from 1-stem cuttings (47.53%). Both, on one- and two-year-old plantations the plants from 4-stem cuttings were characterized by the highest mass of leaves (7.73 and 24.65 g × plant-1, respectively). The plants were also characterized by the highest number of generative shoots (40.71 pcs. × plant-1) and mass of seeds (4.62 g × plant-1). The total contents of coumarins and phenolic acids did not depend on the type of planting stock. The contents of these compounds was higher in two-year-old plants than in one-year-old ones, whereas the content of flavonoids was higher in one-year-old plants.