Research Report

Effect of Row and Plant Spacing on Seed Production of Eryngium Foetidum  

S.N. Mozumder1 , M.M. Rahaman2 , M.M. Hossain2 , J.U. Ahmed3 , M.A.A. Khan4
1 Regional Spices Research Center, BARI, Gazipur-1701, Bangladesh
2 Department of Horticulture, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University Salna, Gazipur-1706, Bangladesh
3 Department of Crop Botany, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University Salna, Gazipur-1706, Bangladesh
4 Department of Plant Pathology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University Salna, Gazipur-1706, Bangladesh
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Horticulture, 2012, Vol. 2, No. 4   doi: 10.5376/ijh.2012.02.0004
Received: 14 Dec., 2012    Accepted: 21 Dec., 2012    Published: 04 Jan., 2013
© 2012 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:
Mozumder S.N., Rahaman M.M., Hossain M.M., Ahmed J.U., and Khan M.A.A., 2012, Effect of Row and Plant Spacing on Seed Production of Eryngium Foetidum, International Journal of Horticulture, 2(4):13-20 (doi: 10.5376/ijh.2012.02.0004)
Abstract

The experiment was conducted at the Horticulture Field Laboratory of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University during December 2007 to July 2008 under upland condition to observe the seed production potentiality of Eryngium foetidum at different spacing. Individual plant performance, flower stalk size, number of inflorescence, seeds/inflorescence and thousand seed weight were higher in wider spacing but marketable fresh yield and seed yield per unit area was better in medium (10 cm×10 cm) spacing. The spacing 10 cm×10cm gave the maximum profitability including fresh plant and seed yield. The maximum fresh yield was obtained from 15 cm×15 cm spacing (16.23 t/ha) while the highest seed yield was recorded in 10 cm×10 cm spacing (136.3 kg/ha). The maximum gross return (Tk. 0.75 million/ha) and BCR (4.76) were obtained from 10 cm×10 cm spacing.

Keywords
Bilatidhonia (Eryngium foetidum L.); Seed crop; Profitability; Seed production; Row and spacing

Bilatidhonia (Eryngium foetidum L.) is a tropical herb, also known as 73 different names such as Chandon benit, Culantro, Eryngium, Eryngo, Long coriander, Mexican coriander, Wild coriander, Spiritweed, Ngo gai, Saw-leaf herb and commonly as Culantro or Eryngium belongs to the family Apiaceae. In Bangladesh, generally it is called Blatidhonia (Islam et al., 2003) or Bangladhonia (Rashid, 1999). Itis a popular green herb prized for the serrate, spatulate-shaped leaves that are used in many culinary dishes (Ramacharan, 2000). It is mainly cultivated for its leaves as condiments and for its essential oils (Ignacimuthu et al., 1999). The important co-members of Eryngium foetidum under the family Apiaceae are coriander and parsley used as condiments, are highly nutritious (Rubatzky et al., 1999). It is used in the folk medicine to treat anti-inflammatory disorders (Garcia et al., 1999). Medicinally, the leaves and roots are used in tea to stimulate appetite, improve digestion, combat colic, soothe stomach pains, eliminate gases and also used as an aphrodisiac.

Eryngium foetidum L. is usually propagated by seeds, sucker and offshoots. Due to low germination rate and high density crop, huge amount of seeds are required per hectare of land compared to other crop. Higher price and scarcity of seeds seems a limiting factor for expanding it’s cultivation. Seeds on Eryngium plant form and mature at different times in the same plant. Usually three stages of seeds such as green (immature), yellow (mature) and black (ripen and dry) are harvested from the same plant if whole plant is harvested. Limited researches have been done only to increase fresh yield and quality of Eryngium at home and abroad. Information on the methods of seed production are very scanty. Plant spacing is an important factor for seed production in Eryngium. It is cultivated densely for its higher fresh leaf yield but less amount of seeds (80~100 kg seed/ha) are produced in that way (Mozumder, 2003). Optimum plant density and spacing are required to avail sufficient space and nutrient for seed production. The optimum spacing for seed production of Eryngium foetidum is not yet standardized under Bangladesh condition. The studies were therefore, undertaken to investigate seed production potentiality with different plant spacing.
Results and Analysis
Plant population

Plants/m2 was varied significantly due to different plant spacing (Table 1). Total number of harvestable plants/m2 was significantly decreased in wider line spacing than closer spacing and broadcasting. The maximum number of plant (608/m2) was recorded from control (no thinning) plots followed by10 cm×5 cm (531/m2) and 10 cm×10 cm spacing (528/m2) while it was the lowest in 20 cm×15 cm spacing (387/m2). All plants (608/m2) remained alive in control plot from where no plant was harvested before flowering. On the other hand the lowest number of plants (33/m2) was found in the plots of wider spacing (20 cm×15 cm). The maximum number of plants (428/m2) was harvested from10 cm×10 cm spacing. Plants yield differed significantly in different spacing. The maximum 1.62 kg/m2 fresh plant was harvested from 15 cm×15 cm spacing while no plant was harvested from control plots. After harvesting of plants, the remaining plants were kept alive in the field. Among them, a few plants were died. The maximum plants (580/m2) retained standing in the control plot (broadcast with no thinning) which was followed by 10 cm×5 cm spacing (195/m2) and it was the minimum (32 /m2) in wider spacing (20 cm×15 cm).


Table 1 Effect of spacing on population and flowering performance of Eryngium


Flower stalk production

Early flower stalk was produced in wider spacing than closer spacing (Table 1). Control plot took the maximum 123 days after sowing (DAS) for flower stalk emergence while 20 cm×15 cm required less time (110 DAS) for the same. Maximum number of flower stalk (122/m2) was obtained from control and it was the lowest (26.3/m2) in 20 cm×15 cm spacing (Table 1). The rate of flower stalk production was the highest (82.15%) in wider spacing (20 cm× 15 cm) and it was the lowest in control (21.1%). The higher rate of flower stalk production in wider spacing might be that plants grown in wider spacing got more space, light and nutrients than other plants grown in closer spacing. As a result the wider spaced plants synthesized more carbohydrate which enhanced flowering. Figure 1 showed that the maximum time (146.7 DAS) was required for flowering in control while it was the minimum in the widest spacing (135.3 DAS). Days from first flowering to last flowering in inflorescence, flowering to seed browning and seed blackening did not differ in various spacing. Days from the first flowering to the last flowering ranged from 7.8 to 8.1 days. After complete flowering, 16 to 17.1 days required to browning of seeds and another 8 to 8.6 days took to become black colored.


Figure 1 Days required to first flowering, seed browning and maturation in Eryngium


After flower stalk emergence, it continuously produced compact inflorescence on flower stalk at the junction of two branches of the flower stalk division in Eryngium. The duration of flowering is almost the same in different spacing and from first to second, second to third, third to fourth, fourth to fifth and fifth to sixth was almost same and it was ranged between 5 to 7 days (Figure 2). It is a continuous process and all seeds were not matured at a time because when first inflorescence became black colored, second remained brown third greenish and fourth remained green, fifth in flowering condition and sixth remained in pre-flowering condition. Further inflorescence such as seventh remained as bud and more inflorescence was going to be produced. The total days required from flowering to seed maturity was insignificant and it ranged from 32.7 to 33 days (Table 2). From sowing to seed maturity it also varied significantly due to different spacing.


Figure 2 Duration of flowering in different inflorescence in each plant


Table 2 Effect of spacing on seed production of Eryngium


The maximum time (180.3 DAS) was required in densely populated control plot while rapid seed maturation (168.3 DAS) was observed in wider spacing (20 cm×15 cm). The early flowering and maturation in wider spacing might be due to availability of nutrition and space and higher accum- ulation of the photosynthetic product which rapidly increased the C: N ratio to encourage flowering.

Size of flower stalk

The length of main flower stalk and its branches did not vary significantly due to different spacing (Figure3). The length of first inter-node (main flower stalk) was much longer and it was decreased in primary, secondary tertiary and sub- tertiary branch. The main or first inter-node length ranged from 16.5 cm to 17.2 cm while primary branch ranged from 7.8 to 8.8 cm only. Secondary, tertiary and sub-tertiary branches of the flower stalk were more shorter but differed with various spacing. The maximum length of secondary, tertiary and sub-tertiary branch of flower stalk internodes were 8.4 cm, 6.1 cm, 4.8 cm and 3.7 cm, respectively obtained from wider (20 cm×15 cm) spacing and it was minimum (7.4 cm, 4.4 cm, 2.3 cm and 1.9 cm, respectively) in control plot. The diameter of main flower stalk and its branches varied significantly due to different spacing (Figure4). The diameter of first inter-node (main flower stalk) was broader and it was decreased in primary, secondary tertiary and sub-tertiary branch. These results are in agreement with the reports of Gusmao et al., 2008. The main or first inter-node diameter ranged from 4.6 mm to 7.1 mm while primary, secondary, tertiary and sub-tertiary branch ranged from 2.8 to 4.3, 1.9 to3.2, 1.4 to 2.1 and 1.1 to 1.5 mm, respectively.


Figure 3 Flower stalks internodes length (cm) with different spacing


Figure 4 Flower stalk diameter (mm) with different spacing

 
Inflorescence per plant significantly increased with the increase of spacing (Table 2). Wider spacing  (20 cm×15 cm) produced plenty of inflorescence (19.63/plant) and control plot produced less number of inflorescences (10.40/plant). This might be due to the vigorous plants in wider spacing having more branching and continuation in inflorescence production while weaker plants and more inter plant competition hampered inflorescence production in control plot. 
Seeds production
Number of seeds per inflorescence and per plant were significantly higher in wider spacing (Table 2). The maximum number of seeds (41.27/inflorescence and 709.3/plant) were produced in 20 cm×15 cm spacing followed by 20 cm×10 cm spacing (38.47/inflorescence and 612.8/plant, respectively) and it was the lowest (31.27/inflorescence and 285.8/plant, respectively) in control plot. Higher number of inflorescence per plant with more number of seeds per inflorescence resulted higher number of seeds per plant in wider spacing.

Thousand seeds weight

The weight of thousand seeds in different spacing varied significantly (Table 2). The highest 1000 seed weight (420 mg) was recorded in 20 cm×15 cm spacing which was closely followed by 20 cm×10 cm spacing (416 mg) and it was the lowest (380 mg) in control plot. In wider spacing, less interplant competition ensured higher production of photosynthates that provided better grain filling might be the cause of higher 1000 seed weight. On the other hand, due to more competition and weaker inflorescence, low photosynthetic ability for partial shade in closer spacing (control plot) resulting poor grain filling caused lower 1000 seed weight.
Fresh plant yield

Fresh plants are obtained through the thinning of plants at 105 DAS leaving expected number (depends on treatment) of plant in the plot. The maximum fresh yield (16.23 t/ha) of Eryngium was recorded in 15 cm×15 cm spacing closely followed by 10 cm×10 cm (15.60 t/ha) and 15 cm×10 cm (15.27 t/ha) while no fresh yield was obtained from control treatment (Table 3). Less number of plants remained in wider plant spacing that provided rigorous thinning caused higher fresh yield.


Table 3 Effect of spacing on yield and profitability in Eryngium seed production


Seed yield

The weight of seeds/plant varied significantly with different spacing (Table 2). The highest seed weight (298.4 mg/plant) was found in 20 cm×15 cm spacing and it was the lowest (108.7 mg/plant) in control plot (no thinning). Higher number of inflorescence per plant, higher number of seeds/inflorescence and bolder seeds in wider spacing might be the cause of higher seed weight per plant. The maximum seed yield (136.3 kg/ha) of Eryngium was recorded in 10 cm×10 cm spacing which was closely followed by 10 cm×5 cm  (135.7 kg/ha) and control plot (133.4 kg/ha) while seed yield was minimum (78.5 kg/ha) in wider spacing (20 cm×15 cm). This result is an agreement with Ekpong (2008) who got 15.6 kg seed per square meter of land (156 kg/ha). It also partially agreed with the report of Parziale (2006) who suggested transplants should be spaced 4~6 inches (10 cm× 15 cm) within the row and no closer than 6 inches apart between the rows for seed production in E. foetidum. The individual plant performance in respect to seed yield was poor in control but number of plants as well as number of flower stalk was higher that gave a reasonable seed yield in control plot.
Economic benefits
Data on economic benefits regarding fresh plant and seed production were presented in Table 5.3. Control plot gave no fresh plant yield. So, no return had come from control for fresh yield. The maximum plant value (Tk. 0.649 milion/ha) was obtained from 15 cm×15 cm spacing which was at par with 10 cm×10 cm (Tk. 0.624 milion/ha) and 15 cm×10 cm (Tk. 0.611 million/ha). The maximum seed value (Tk. 0.327 milion /ha) was obtained from 10 cm×10 cm closely followed by 10 cm×5 cm (Tk. 326 milion /ha) and control (Tk. 0.320 milion /ha). The highest gross return (Tk. 0.951 milion /ha), gross margin (Tk. 0.751 milion /ha) and benefit cost ratio (4.76) was obtained from 10 cm×10 cm spacing followed by  15 cm×15 cm spacing (Tk. 853.3 and 653.3 thousands/ha, 4.27, respectively) and it was lowest (Tk. 320.2 and 120.2 Thousands/ha, 1.60, respectively) in the control plot. The lowest return in control is due to the cause of no return from fresh plant as fresh plant provided a greater part of the gross return.
Medium spacing (10 cm×10 cm) was more profitable due to higher marketable fresh yield and seed yield valued more gross return as well as gross margin because the variable cost in all spacing and broadcasting was similar. In broadcasting and wider spacing sowing cost was little less than closer spacing but weeding cost was higher in these two cases resulted similar variable cost finally.
Materials and Methods
The experiment was conducted during December 2007 to July 2008 at the Horticulture Field Laboratory of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University, Salna, Gazipur situated in the middle part of Bangladesh (24000’N Lat. and 90026’E Long.). The experimental field belonged to AEZ-28 and the soil was Brown Terrace but modified (through land development) to medium loamy to moderately fine texture (sandy clay loam). The experiment was laid out in a randomized complete block (RCB) design having nine treatments with three replications. The unit plot size was 3 m×1 m. The treatment combinations were - T1: Broadcasting and no thinning, T2: 10 cm×5 cm, T3: 10 cm×10 cm, T4: 15 cm×5 cm, T5: 15 cm×10 cm, T6: 15 cm×15 cm, T7: 20 cm×5 cm, T8: 20 cm×10 cm and T9: 20 cm×15 cm. The experimental land was fertilized with decomposed cowdung @ 15 t/ha, 200 kg-N, 120 kg-P and 150 kg K (Islam et al., 2003) One fifth of nitrogen and all other manure and fertilizer were applied in soil during final land preparation. The rest of the urea was applied as top dressing in four installments at 30 d, 60 d, 90 d and 120 days after sowing (Mozumder et al., 2008). Eryngium seeds (12g/3m2 plot) were sown by broad casting for T1 and maintaining line spacing with a rake for other Treatment on 11 December 2007. Being seeds were very small, they were mixed with coarse sand for sowing uniformly. Then the seeds were covered with a thin layer of fine soil. After sowing, the plots were covered with dry rice straw to make the soil uniformly moist for better germination. For better production of quality leaf black mosquito net covered light shade was made with the help of bamboo poles and GI wires to discard about 50% sunlight to ensure large and succulent leaves (Moniruzzaman et al., 2007). The net was removed 15 days after plant thinning (120 DAS). Thinning (harvest) was done 105 days after sowing leaving healthy plants according to treatment requirement. Cupravit (0.3%) and Tetracycline 1000 ppm was sprayed three times at seven days interval for controlling leaf spot disease which was caused by a bacteria Erwinia eryngii (Mozumder, 2009). Harvesting of plant (thinning according to treatment) was done at the first week of April (105 DAS) maintaining the optimum spacing according to the design of the experiment. Data on harvested plants/m2 and weight of plants/m2 was recorded at 105 days after sowing. Numbers of total plants are the sum of harvested plants and remaining healthy plants in the field. Days required for flower stalk emergence, flowering, seed browning and seed blacking was counted daily observing the plants and inflorescence carefully. Flower stalk/m2, number of inflorescence per flower stalk, number of seeds per inflorescence were recorded from 10 plants from each plot. Thousand seed weight and weight of seeds (g/plant) were recorded from the harvested seeds of 10 plants after sun drying and cleaning of seeds. The data were compiled properly and analyzed statistically by MSTAT Program and mean comparison was done following the Duncan’s Multiple Range Test.
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