HIGH QUALITY CAMOMILE FOR NORTH AMERICAN COMMERCIAL PROCESSING
Since 1992, three different camomile cultivars of typical (-)--bisabolol-types (a diploid "Diploid" and two tetraploids "BK2-39" and "R-43") under field conditions were investigated. The main objective of this research was to introduce and develop the most suitable camomile cultivars of high quality and find optimum time of seed sowing for commercial organic production in Canada. Seeds were sown in three different periods (summer, fall, and spring). The flowers of all camomile cultivars introduced and cultivated in eastern Canada (Quebec), exceeded the minimum content of 0.40% volatile oil proposed by German and European pharmacopoeias. However, none of the commercially available flowers of camomile in Canada have yet been found to contain as much as 0.40%. "R-43" showed remarkable fluctuation in essential oil content due to differences in sowing periods, while the oil content in "Diploid" and "BK2-39" was relatively stable. There were significant differences in the over-wintering ability among the three cultivars. "R-43" followed by "BK2-39" showed the highest winter survival rate, suggesting its suitability for autumn sowing, while cv "Diploid" had the lowest rate of survival. Important morphological traits, such as tillering, primary and secondary branching were affected in response to sowing dates, thus significantly influencing the shoot and flower yields. Based on our present and earlier findings, we suggest the classification of camomile as "wintertype", "spring-type" or "neutral". For areas with harsh and prolonged winter temperatures, tetraploid camomile cultivars should be developed. We recommend cv "BK2-39" for North American commercial processing.
Letchamo, W. and Gosselin, A. (1996). HIGH QUALITY CAMOMILE FOR NORTH AMERICAN COMMERCIAL PROCESSING. Acta Hortic. 426, 593-600
Camomile, Chamomilla recutita, introduction, North America, organic cultivation, productivity, essential oil, quality management