Soil water availability and growth of feverfew

Luciana M. de Carvalho Vicente Wagner D. Casali Márcio A. de Souza Paulo R. Cecon About the authors

Feverfew plants (Tanacetum parthenium L. Schultz-Bip) were cropped in pots containing substratum maintained at 90%, 70% and 50% of field capacity. The plants were evaluated for the height, accumulation of fresh mass in the aerial part, relative chlorophyll and proline content. The relative chlorophyll content was estimated using a portable chlorophyll meter (SPAD-502), while the proline content was estimated by colorimetry. Reductions of 16% in the height and of 22,5% in the accumulation of fresh mass in the aerial part of the plants grown at 50% of field capacity were verified, being compared with the average of the plants grown at 90% of field capacity. The relative chlorophyll content in the expanded leaves, in any of substratum water levels, decreased with the time, indicating tendency to senescence of the leaves. Plants maintained at 50% of field capacity presented about 30% more chlorophyll, compared to plants at 90% of field capacity, during the whole accompanied time. Also, the proline content was higher, indicating osmotic adjustment stress due to water deficiency. The largest chlorophyll and proline accumulation in the expanded leaves of the plants under water deficiency can be used as a stress indicative.

Tanacetum parthenium; medicinal plant; water deficiency; water stress

Associação Brasileira de Horticultura UFRPE (Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Rua Manoel de Medeiros s/n, Dois Irmãos,, 52171-900 Recife-PE, Tel. (81) 3320 6064, - Vitoria da Conquista - BA - Brazil