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Anatoli Dzhurmanski, Georgi Dzhurmanski and Valtcho Jeliazkov (Zheljazkov)

Leuzea, or Maralroot, is a perennial medicinal plant originating from Siberia, and is characterized with significant metabolic and tonic effects. A 3-year study was conducted at the Research Institute for Roses, Aromatic and Medicinal Plants Kazanluk, Bulgaria, on the introduction of various genotypes of Leuzea (Rhaponticum carthamoides Willd/Iljin.) from the Altai region, Russia. Phenological observations, and up to 11 morphological indices were characterized for 1-, 2-, and 3-year-old plants. Generally, it was found that the climatic and soil conditions in the region were not very favorable for the growth and development of Leuzea. Also, for the tested region, Leuzea should be grown only under irrigation. Yields of Leuzea roots and rhizomes reached 7.19 t/ha in the 2nd year, and up to 8.62 t/ha in the 3rd year. Yields of aboveground herbage were up to 8.73 t/ha when plants were harvested at the beginning of blossoming. Second cut of the above-ground herbage of Leuzea was not satisfactory under the climatic conditions of the region. When grown for seed production, seed yields during the 3rd year were up to 128 kg/ha. Leuzea may have a potential as a cash crop for the region if grown for seed production.

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Anatoli Dzhurmanski, Kana Varbanova and Valtcho Zheljazkov

Common coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is used as medicinal, cutflower, or ornamental plant. There is significant diversity and chemotypes within the species. Flower morphology and shape has been shown to affect fertilization and, subsequently, seed formation and yields, and seed germination. The aim of this study was to describe morphological and biological characteristics of locally available Echninacea seed progeny and evaluate segregating populations in F1. Overall, the F1 seed progeny of Echinacea purpurea was clustered into three different groups with distinct morphological characteristics and ornamental qualities: 1) plants having tubular type of flowers, 38.9% of all plants; 2) plants with flat flowers; and 3) plants with cone-shaped flowers. The latter is the most commonly found type. We found that 11% of all Echninacea plants would fail to have seed set. However, 55% of Echninacea plants with tubular (spherical) flowers would be without seeds. Of the plants with tubular flowers, 40% were with tubules longer than 10 mm. The plants from the F2 and F3 progenies were with very low seed productivity, with greater variation of morphological characteristics, and some of them with characteristics not found in F1. Several promising forms with potentially high ornamental value were identified.