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Finalizing tests of medicinal and aromatic plants in experimental gardens

During Summer 2019, researchers from the Institute for Environmental Solutions and SIA “Field and Forest” are finalizing the field works and observations in experimental gardens of 5 medicinal and aromatic plants to continue the research in lab – analysing the gathered data and finding best growing methods and most suited genotypes for weather and soil conditions in Latvia.

Field of Valerian and it’s root in experimental gardens in Priekuļi municipality. Image: SIA “Field and Forest”.

Research in experimental gardens located in Priekuļi Municipality is dedicated to 5 medicinal and aromatic plans – valerian (Valeriana officinalis L.), chamomile (Matricaria recutita), echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia), common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), and siler (Saposhnikovia divaricata). In spite of a very hot and dry start of the final vegetation season, the weather conditions have not affected the vegetation process. Perennial plants – echinacea, valerian, common dandelion and siler keeps growing and developing successfully. Moreover, researchers have already carried out a first assessment of harvest development processes for siler and dandelion.

Siler in experimental garden in Priekuļi municipality. Image: SIA “Field and Forest”.

During the current season of the experimental gardens, the blooming shows a remarkable progress. While echinacea has blossomed for the first time during this research, seems like siler, which has not been previously studied in Latvia, will blossom as well.

Dandelion during vegetation period in experimental gardens, Priekuļi municipality. Image: SIA “Field and Forest”.

Students from Latvia University of Agriculture and University of Latvia are participating in this research process by doing additional assessments of the dandelions in experimental gardens. Līva Marta Roze who is studying in faculty of biology (University of Latvia) has developed a research paper “Development of descriptors for characterising morphological variability of morphological features of Taraxacum officinale Weber and characterisation of the diversity of local populations”. Faculty of agriculture student Jānis Gailītis continues to develop his bachelor’s thesis on the commercialized growing of dandelions in agro-climatic conditions of Latvia.

The research on 5 medicinal and aromatic plants started on March 2017. While the third season of experimental gardens in Priekuļi parish is still in progress, team of researchers are preparing of the last stage of the research – analysis of the most important MAPs parameters to announce the most appropriate genotypes and organic production of MAPs that are also the most suitable for biological agriculture farmers, organic farmers, pharma, food and cosmetics companies and households use in Latvia conditions.

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.