INFLUENCE OF ECOLOGICAL FACTORS ON YIELD AND ESSENTIAL OIL OF CAMOMILE (CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA (L.) RAUSCHERT SYN, MATRICARIA CHAMOMILLA L.)
Although camomile is a long-day plant it shows a wide ecological amplitude: field production of camomile may be found in temperate and subtropical zones, preferably in countries with lower level of wages than in Middle Europe, where flower picking expenses can be kept low. Today camomile drug comes from some Eastern European countries, mediterranean countries, India and mainly from Egypt and Argentina. Analyses of commercial samples demonstrated a large variability in quality of the different origins, therefore the influence of ecological factors on camomile oil quality is under discussion.
Comparative studies in Hungary and Egypt carried out by Sváb et al. (1967) showed a reduction of flower head weight with increasing temperature, but not any effect on essential oil. Saleh (1968), in contrast, found in phytotron investigations that camomile grown under long-day conditions of 18 hours daylength produced essential oils with higher chamazulene contents than that grown under 14 hours daylength. Similar results were obtained by Franz, Fritz and Schröder (1975); they additionally found that bisaboloids, too, reacted on daylength (in phytotron conditions).