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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Jun 5;50(12):3512-7.

Main agronomic-productive characteristics of two ecotypes of Rosmarinus officinalis L. and chemical composition of their essential oils.

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Dipartimento di Chimica Bioorganica e Biofarmacia and Agronomy Department, via S. Michele degli Scalzi 2, 56124 Pisa University, Italy.


The productive potential of two different ecotypes of Rosmarinus officinalis (Cevoli and Lunigiana) cultivated in the littoral area near Pisa (northern Tuscany, Italy) and the differences in the yield and composition of the essential oils of leaves, flowers, and stems obtained from different positions of the plants were used to characterize the two ecotypes. The Cevoli ecotype plant produced the highest yield of dry matter (221 g plant-1) in comparison to the Lunigiana ecotype (72 g plant-1). There were significant differences in dry matter production of different organs of both ecotypes. The essential oil contents of Cevoli and Lunigiana ecotypes were similar. In contrast, the oil contents of the different plant parts showed marked differences. The apical part of the plant and the leaves gave the highest essential oil yields. The major difference between the oils of the two ecotypes consisted in the 1,8-cineole contents (6.6 and 37.9% in Cevoli and Lunigiana, respectively). The Cevoli ecotype was determined to be the most suitable for essential oil extraction because it was characterized by a preponderance of flowers and leaves in the apical portion. The Cevoli ecotype could be classifited as an alpha-pinene chemotype, whereas Lunigiana is a 1,8-cineole chemotype.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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