Selection emphasis on cyme size and flower color of Heliotropium arborescens L. has led to cultivars with diminished floral fragrance. As a preliminary inquiry into the fragrance chemistry of the species, we identified 41 volatile compounds emanating from the flowers of 'Marine' via isolation (Tenax trapping) and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The majority of the volatile compounds emanating from the flowers were terpenes (camphene, p-cymene, δ-3-carene, α-humulene, δ-1-limonene, linalool, (E)-β-ocimene, α-pinene, and β-thujone), benzenoids of which benzaldehyde was the most abundant, aldehydes (decanal, heptanal, nonanal and octanal), and hydrocarbons (decane, heneicosane, heptadecane, hexadecane, nonadecane, nonane, octadecane, tetradecane, tridecane and undecane) along with a cross-section of other compounds. Subsequent identification and quantification of critical ordorants will facilitate selecting new cultivars with quantitative and qualitative improvements in fragrance.
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