Full Length Research Paper

Evaluation of American and German Chamomiles for Agronomic and Chemical Traits in Ethiopia

Beemnet Mengesha*, Zinash Teferi, Zewdinesh Damtew Zignie, Wondu Bekele, Bekri Melka1, Basazenew Degu, Tigist German, Desta Fekadu and Hassen Nurhusain

Abstract

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) is a well-known aromatic and medicinal plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. Flowers are the economical part for herbal preparation and essential oil production. Due to the several applications of chamomile in pharmaceutical, nutritional and sanitary industrials, chamomile was one of the most important commercial plants during the recent decades. In spite of its diverse uses, maintained for longer time and existence of suitable climatic conditions, the two chamomile types were never been evaluated for their agronomic and chemical performances in Ethiopia. Therefore, to get benefited out of its potential, this activity was set with the objective of evaluating the performances of American and German type chamomiles for agronomic and chemical traits in different locations of Ethiopia thereby for bringing the crop into cultivation. Data on plant height, flower weight per plant, flower yield per hectare, essential oil content, and essential oil yield were collected from three locations arranged in randomized complete block design with four replications. The overall combined analysis of variance revealed that the two chamomile types are statistically different on plant height, essential oil content and essential oil yield. Location exerted a significance influence on flower yield/plant, essential oil content and essential oil yield. Year and interaction effect of location by year excreted a significant influence on all parameters considered in this study. The average flower yield over all the testing locations varied from 42 to 53.51 g/plant for American and from 37.78 to 58.72 g/plant for German chamomile. The American demonstrated a percent increase value of 9.44% over the German type in essential oil content. The overall essential oil yield varied from 6.85 to 22.15 kg/ha for American chamomile and from 6.71 to 13.7 kg/ha for German chamomile. Both the American and German chamomiles demonstrated a good adaptability at all testing locations indicating the possibility of their cultivation in Ethiopia for herbal flower and essential oil production.

Key words: Chamomile, flower, essential oil, Ethiopia.

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