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Researchers from the SIA “Field and Forest” and Institute for Environmental Solutions are about to finish 3-year field research on 5 medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs), which has been carried out in the experimental garden located in Priekuļi municipality in Latvia.

This is the final season of the field work in experimental garden. It has been dedicated to research on 5 medicinal and aromatic plants – valerian (Valeriana officinalis L.), chamomile (Matricaria recutita), echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia), common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), and siler (Saposhnikovia divaricata), their morphological and biochemical parameters, genetic diversity, stability of yield and other parameters. As a result, the research team will select the genotypes of above mentioned plants that are the most suitable to Latvia’s climate conditions, as well as develop innovative methodology for organic cultivation of high value MAPs.

Root of valerian in experimental gardens in Priekuļi municipality. Image: SIA “Field and Forest”.

In September and October 2019, researchers continued the final field works campaign – tests on agro-technical parameters and sampling of genetic resources of valerian, common dandelion, echinacea and siler. Roots of the MAPs were gathered, weighted, dried and chemical parameters of them were analysed. Simultaneously with the fieldwork campaign, the researchers started the last phase of the research – analysis of the MAPs’ parameters to announce the most appropriate genotypes and organic production for Latvia’s climate and agro-technical conditions.  Then the team will select the MAPs that are the most suitable for diverse use in organic farming, pharma, food and cosmetics, and households.

Root of siler in experimental garden in Priekuļi municipality. Image: SIA “Field and Forest”.

According to the researchers, the first assessments highlights that local dandelions are suitable for commercial cultivation. Further, the researchers will analyse gathered data to determine which dandelion species are suited the most. Data results of local valerian species in commercial cultivation variates a lot. Therefore, to be able to make any conclusions, researchers need to fulfil careful analysis of gathered data. The analysis of other researched MAPs (siler, echinacea, camomile) will be carried out after the finishing final experimental field campaign. 

The research is a part of the project “Growing genetic diversity of medicinal and aromatic plants” (Nr.1.1.1.1/16/A/307). It is supported by European Regional Development Fund, as a part of Measure 1.1.1.1 “Industry-Driven Research” of specific objective 1.1.1 “To increase the research and innovation capacity of scientific institutions of Latvia and their ability to attract external funding by investing in human resources and infrastructure”.

Find more about the project here.

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