Variability of the content and quality of some active substances within Achillea millefolium complex

https://doi.org/10.17221/3811-HORTSCICitation:Špinarová Š., Petříková K. (2003): Variability of the content and quality of some active substances within Achillea millefolium complex. Hort. Sci. (Prague), 30: 7-13.
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The present paper compares the production of active substances in different subspecies of Achillea millefolium complex growing in the Czech Republic. Representatives of 7 subspecies of A. millefolium complex (A. setacea Waldst. et Kit., A. asplenifolia Vent., A. pratensis Saukel et Langer, A. collina Rchb., A. styriaca Saukel et Langer subsp. bohemica, A. millefolium subsp. millefolium, A. pannonica Scheele) and several natural hybrids of Achillea L. were collected from 75 natural habitats in different parts of the Czech Republic. Plants were cultivated to investigate plant growth and contents of some effective compounds during 1997–1999. Development of plants was divided into 7 typical phenological phases. From the point of view of active substance production, the stage of early flowering was found as the most suitable phase for Achillea (yarrow) harvest. Air-dried powdered flowering heads were analysed for essential oil, tannin and flavonoid content. The essential oil content was obtained by hydro-distillation; the composition of essential oil was analysed by means of gas-liquid chromatography. The total essential oil content of the examined yarrow species ranged between 0.05% and 0.88% of dry matter; ecotypes of A. collina and some of its hybrids showed the best results with the highest content of deep blue essential oil. Content of tannins was determined according to PhBs IV; flavonoids were expressed as an apigenin content by an internal method of pharmaceutical company IVAX ČR, a. s., Opava. The total flavonoid content was in the range of 1.37–3.97%; the content of tannins ranged from 0.02 to 0.64%. The highest content of flavonoids was determined in the sample of A. styriaca subsp. bohemica (3.97%); the highest content of tannins was found in an A. asplenifolia sample (0.64%).  
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