EFFECT OF NITROGEN FERTILISATION ON THE GROWTH OF ARTEMISIA AFRA AND ITS ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY

G. Prinsloo, J.C. Viljoen, C.P. Du Plooy
A rich heritage of floral biodiversity is found in developing countries such as South Africa. South Africa, a country with a strong history of traditional healing, hosts around 30,000 flowering plant species, which account for almost 10% of the world’s higher plant species (Van Wyk and Gericke, 2000). The question of whether medicinal plants can be cultivated for their use as phytomedicine is also a burning issue. Cultivation has been suggested to be a solution to not only meet increased demand for medicinal plants, but also a tool for biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation (Wiersum et al., 2006). Several South African pharmaceutical companies have shown interest in producing commercial products from indigenous medicinal plants, such as Hypoxis and Hoodia (Diederichs, 2006).
Artemisia afra is a well known medicinal plant in South Africa being used traditionally for a number of ailments. It is mainly used for the treatment of coughs, colds and influenza (Van Wyk et al., 2000). It is also used for fever, loss of appetite, colic, headache, earache, malaria and intestinal worms. Very little information is available on growing and cultivation of this plant. In this study the effect of different nitrogen fertilisers on the yield, chemical composition and biological activity was determined. Phosphorus and potassium were applied before planting and nitrogen after planting. LAN, urea and ammonium sulphate were applied at 0 (control), 180, 240, 300 and 360 kg N/ha. The trial was harvested twice and the fresh plant material weighed. All the treatments showed significant increases in the fresh mass yield of the plants when compared to the controls, with the highest yield of 29.7 tons/ha with LAN applied at 360 kg N/ha. Ammonium sulphate at 180 kg N/ha was however recommended as it achieved a yield of 27.2 tons/ha and showed no statistical differences with the highest yield.
Prinsloo, G., Viljoen, J.C. and Du Plooy, C.P. (2013). EFFECT OF NITROGEN FERTILISATION ON THE GROWTH OF ARTEMISIA AFRA AND ITS ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY. Acta Hortic. 979, 357-364
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.979.38
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.979.38
cultivation, LAN, urea, ammonium-sulphate, bioassay
English

Acta Horticulturae