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Jeanine M. Davis* and George B. Cox

Weeds are a major concern in the production of many medicinal herbs. Weeds can interfere with the growth of the herb, reducing yields of foliage, flowers, and roots. The presence of weeds in the harvested herb can lessen the value of the herb or render it unmarketable. Weed control on medicinal herbs is difficult because there are few herbicides cleared for use and many herbs are organically grown. In this study, we examined the use of white and black plastic mulches to control weeds in the production of six medicinal herbs in the northern piedmont region of North Carolina. The herbs were grown for 2 years on raised beds with drip-irrigation. The beds were left bare or covered with black plastic mulch or white plastic mulch. The herbs grown were Arnica chamissonis, Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea purpurea, Leonurus cardiaca, Scutellaria lateriflora, and Spilanthes oleracea. Transplants were field set in May and June. Depending on the particular herb, foliage, and flowers were harvested during both growing seasons and roots were harvested at the end of the second season. Both plastic mulches provided excellent weed control compared to the bare ground treatment. A. chamissonis flower yields were reduced when plants were grown with either plastic mulch. Growth and yield of E. angustifolia, L. cardiaca, and S. lateriflora were unaffected by any mulch treatment. In contrast, total season yields of E. purpurea tops (stems, leaves, and flowers) and roots were higher with both plastic mulches than with the bare ground treatment. Root yields of S. oleracea were higher with the bare ground treatment than with either mulch, but top yields were unaffected by treatment.

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David R. Hershey

Scientific terms should have a single definition to avoid confusion. The noun “herb” has two broad categories of definitions, the first as a plant used in perfumery, as a dye, in cooking as flavoring, etc. and the second as a description of plant habit. Examination of over 30 definitions for the latter meaning of herb revealed great differences. Herb is variously defined as a “nonwoody plant” or as a plant with “annual aboveground stems”, allowing woody plants with annual stems to be called herbs, e.g. Buddleia or Vitex in colder climates. Other definitions restrict herbs to certain portions of the plant kingdom, such as “seed plants” or “vascular plants”. The adjective “herbaceous” is also defined in numerous ways, e.g. “not woody”, “dying to the ground each year”, “having the texture, color, etc. of an ordinary foliage leaf”. The same plant may be termed herb or herbaceous using some definitions, but not others. Since herb and herbaceous have been defined in so many different ways, the terms should be avoided, unless the definition being used is given, and more specific terms used, e.g. nonwoody plant.

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Anita L. Hayden

Hydroponic and aeroponic production of medicinal crops in controlled environments provides opportunities for improving quality, purity, consistency, bioactivity, and biomass production on a commercial scale. Ideally, the goal is to optimize the environment and systems to maximize all five characteristics. Examples of crop production systems using perlite hydroponics, nutrient film technique (NFT), ebb and flow, and aeroponics were studied for various root, rhizome, and herb leaf crops. Biomass data comparing aeroponic vs. soilless culture or field grown production of burdock root (Arctium lappa), stinging nettles herb and rhizome (Urtica dioica), and yerba mansa root and rhizome (Anemopsis californica) are presented, as well as smaller scale projects observing ginger rhizome (Zingiber officinale) and skullcap herb (Scutellaria lateriflora). Phytochemical concentration of marker compounds for burdock and yerba mansa in different growing systems are presented.

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Lelia S. Kelly, Michael Newman, and Ken Hood

Extension specialists are charged with developing programs and publications based on audience needs. In consumer horticulture it can be difficult to gauge the needs that are client driven rather than extension driven. This study was an attempt to gather herb gardening information directly from gardeners. In total, 188 Master Gardeners completed a questionnaire that included questions ranging from the use of OTC herbal supplements to preservation methods. Analysis of data indicated that, based on sex, age or household income, participants were not different in most of their responses. When asked to check all the reasons they grew herbs, the top two were culinary and ornamental. Thirty-seven percent took OTC herbal supplements and 35% of those did so without their doctor's knowledge. Twelve percent indicated they treated themselves or family members for a medical condition using homegrown herbs. There was a significant difference between male and female when answering this question. Thirty-two percent of the male sample compared to just 9% of the females provided this home treatment. Primary propagation method was transplants. Pesticide use was minimal with only 2% using these. Easiest herbs to grow were rosemary, mint and basil in that order. Most popular herbs for cooking were basil, rosemary and chives. Top preservation method was drying, but freezing, vinegars and even herbal liquors were popular methods. Study results indicate that information dealing with cooking or ornamental uses of herbs would be popular. New ideas for old favorites as well as including new herbal cultivars would be useful. Nutritive and health issues, in particular involving herbal supplements, would be an opportunity for collaborative work with health and nutrition specialists.

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James M. Affolter and Marta Lagrotteria

The province of Cordoba in central Argentina is naturally rich in aromatic and medicinal herbs that are in high demand as ingredients in teas and herbal medicines. Most of the herbs sold are harvested from natural populations, and this activity is a primary source of income for families in the Sierra de Cordoba region. As a result of over-collection and other poor harvesting practices, many native plant populations have been reduced in size or extirpated. The economic consequence of the gradual decline of this resource has been a loss of real income in rural areas coupled with a pattern of emigration from small towns to larger cities. PRODEMA is a collaborative effort by universities in Argentina and the United States, with the sponsorship of the Cordoba government, to domesticate and to market the most commercially important species. Horticultural research has focused on the development of propagation techniques and identification and selection of desirable chemotypes.

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Brian A. Kahn, Niels O. Maness, Donna R. Chrz, and Lynda K. Carrier

Basil is one of several herbs being studied for production as an extraction processing crop in Oklahoma. Mechanical harvest and high yields will be necessary to produce the volume of fresh product needed to profitably run an extraction facility

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Khalid M. Elhindi, Yaser Hassan Dewir, Abdul-Wasea Asrar, Eslam Abdel-Salam, Ahmed Sharaf El-Din, and Mohamed Ali

production of herbs ( Hassan, 2012 ; Pereira, 1992 ; Sajjadi, 2006 ). High seed quality and seedling establishment are the cornerstones of profitable, efficient, and sustainable crop production ( Finch-Savage, 1995 ). Seed dormancy is defined as the failure

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Jerry T. Walker

Twenty herb species were exposed to root-knot nematode under greenhouse conditions. The root systems were examined for root gall development and nematode reproduction as an indication of host suitability. The herbs evaluated were balm (Melissa officinalis L.), basil (Ocimum basilicum L.), catnip (Nepeta cataria L.), chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.), coriander (Coriandrum sativium L.), dill (Anethum graveolens L.), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.), hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis L.), lavender (Lavandula augustifolia Mill.), oregano (Origanum vulgare L.), peppermint (Mentha ×piperita L.), rocket-salad (Erurca vesicaria L.), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.), rue (Ruta graveolens L.), sage (Salvia officinalis L.), savory (Satureja hortensis L.), sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana L.), tansy (Tanacetum vulgare L.), thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.), and wormwood (Artemisia absinthium L.). Peppermint, oregano, and marjoram consistently were free of root galls after exposure to initial nematode populations of two or 15 eggs/cm3 of soil medium and were considered resistant. All other herb species developed root galls with accompanying egg masses, classifying them as susceptible or hypersusceptible to root-knot nematode. The highest initial nematode egg density (15 eggs/cm3) significantly decreased dry weights of 14 species. The dry weights of other species were unaffected at these infestation densities after 32- to 42-day exposure.

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Jacqueline A. Ricotta and John B. Masiunas

Black polyethylene mulch and weed control strategies were evaluated for potential use by small acreage herb producers. In both 1988 and 1989, the mulch greatly increased fresh and dry weight yields of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.). Parsley (Petroselinum crispum Nym.) yield did not respond to the mulch. Preplant application of napropamide provided weed control for 2 weeks, but was subsequently not effective on a heavy infestation of purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.). Hand-hoed and glyphosate-treated plots (both with and without plastic) produced equivalent yields. Chemical names used: N, N -diethyl-2(1-napthalenoxy)-propanamide (napropamide); N- (phosphonomethyl) glycine (glyphosate).

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Kazuhiro Abe and Takashi Iwata

Concentrations of culture solution in hydroponics were changed for the purpose of improving the quality of herbs. Culture solution containing Ca(NO3)2·4H20:45g. KNO3:36g. MgSO4·7H20:22. 5g. NH4H2PO4:6. 75g, and Fe-EDTA:6. 67g in \batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(45{\ell}\) \end{document} water was defined as 1 unit solution.

Japanese honewort (Cryptotaenia japonica Hassk). soup celery (Apium graveolens L. var. dulce DC.). and parsley grown with 2 unit solution showed higher contents of ascorbic acid(ASA). phenols, free amino acid, and chlorophyll than those grown with 1 unit, but they showed lower yields and shorter shelf lives. Lowering the concentration of solution to 2/3 unit resulted in the increase of yield of peppermint, sage, basil, and perilla (Perilla frutescens Britton) and the decrease of ASA and chlorophyll contents. Shelf lives of berbs with 2/3 unit were longer than those with 1 unit. The smell of herbs tested in this experiment was not affected significantly in sensory test by the change of concentration of solution.