Detailed anthocyanin and flavonol profiles were investigated in three flower segments of four different hybrid primrose (Primula ×polyantha) cultivars, and individual compounds were identified using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)/mass spectrometry system. Chlorophyll a and b and total carotenoids were evaluated spectrophotometrically in the corolla tube (CT), and distal and proximal flower segments, and the color of each segment was assessed with a colorimeter. Chlorophyll b predominated over chlorophyll a in all flower segments, and the highest total chlorophyll levels were found in the CTs. Sixteen different anthocyanins (glycosides of cyanidin, delphinidin, peonidin, petunidin, malvidin, and rosinidin) were identified in red, pink, and blue flower extracts. Distal segments of the red hybrid and proximal segments of the pink hybrid accumulated highest levels of total anthocyanins, and no red pigments were detected in yellow-flowered hybrid primrose. Six groups of flavonols (40 individual compounds in total) were detected in different flower segments of four hybrid primrose cultivars. Yellow primrose was characterized by the greatest diversity of flavonols as it contained four isorhamnetin, five kaempferol, six laricitrin, three myricetin, six quercetin, and six syringetin glycosides. On the other hand, the smallest variety of flavonols was detected in pink hybrids. Total phenolic content (TPC) was lowest in the CT (yellow > red > pink), significantly higher in the proximal flower segment (yellow > red > pink), and highest in the distal part of the primrose petal (yellow > pink > red).
Using high-performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, leaf and petal phenolic profiles of four rose (Rosa) species (R. canina, R. glauca, R. rubiginosa, R. sempervirens) traditionally used for medicinal purposes and three modern rose cultivars (Rosarium Uetersen, Ulrich Brunner Fils, Schwanensee) were determined. An abundance of phenolic constituents was identified: seven different anthocyanins and 31 flavonols in petals; 30 flavonols, 14 phenolic acids, and their derivatives; 15 flavanols; and 20 hydrolysable tannins in leaves. Additionally, petal color was measured with a colorimeter and regression analysis indicated a strong correlation between color parameter a* and total anthocyanin content. The content and composition of phenolic compounds varied significantly among species and cultivars and plant organs investigated. Distinct differences in the distribution of leaf phenolic compounds were observed, especially between Rosa species and modern rose cultivars. In general, leaves of analyzed species were richer in content of most phenolic groups and individual components compared with cultivars. Multivariate statistical analysis clustered the investigated species and cultivars into three distinct groups. Among species, leaves of R. canina stood out with their high and varied phenolic content. Conversely, leaves of the susceptible cultivar Schwanensee appeared most dissimilar as a result of their low levels of phenolic constituents.