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Effect of growth substrates on morpho-quantitative and qualitative characteristics of Echinacea angustifolia var. angustifolia roots

Aiello, Nicola, Carlini, Alessandro, Scartezzini, Fabrizo, Fusani, Pietro, Berto, Chiara, Dall’Acqua, Stefano
Journal of herbs, spices & medicinal plants 2018 v.24 no.1 pp. 64-73
Echinacea angustifolia, agricultural soils, root hairs, sand, soil texture
Echinacea angustifolia plants were grown in pots containing three growth substrates, highly light soil, a medium light soil, and natural farm soil to which horticultural substrate (Manna Flor PT) was added in various proportions. The root length, number of main roots, number of secondary roots, collar diameter, root diameter, distance between collar and root bifurcation, root hairs density, and fresh and dried root weight per plant were measured. The plants grown in the substrate corresponding to highly light soil (75% sand and 25% horticultural substrate), harvested after 3 years, had a good development (54.8 cm) and weight (23.9 g of dry weight) of the root. The effect of growth substrates was not evident for echinacoside (0.40% on average) and dodeca-2E,4E,8Z,10E/Z-tetraenoic isobutylamide (0.26% on average), while it was clear for cynarin and chicoric acid, which were higher (respectively 0.13% and 0.22%) in the substrate consisting of 75% of farm soil and 25% of horticultural substrate.