Roots of Khus plant, Vetiveria zizanioides (Linn) Nash, contain a highly fragrant essential oil. The oil is used in the preparation of popular scents, soaps, perfumes and cosmetics as well as for the isolation of vetiverol, vetiverone and vetiveryl acetate. It has good export potential since Indian oil has very high content of Vetiverul esters in natural state (Arctander 1960).
Vetiver is grown over wide agro-ecological niches in the country. Ramanujam and Kumar (1964) observed considerable variation among the complexes grown in South and North India for complex qualitative and morphological characters. These workers initiated a breeding progamme to improve the essential oil content. The present paper deals with variability of physico-chemical properties of essential oil extracted from thirteen hybrid clones raised at the Indore research station and also the phenotypic correlations between various attributes of oil.
Materials and Methods
A replicated trial (4 replications in R. B. D.) of 13 hybrid clones and a local vetiver type was undertaken in the years 1976-77 and 1977-78. Row to row and plant to plant spacing within the row were 75 and 30 cms respectively. Size of the plot in each replication was 2.25 x 2.4 m. The climate of the area is semi-arid with annual precipitation ranging from 750-1000 mm. The soils are 50% clay with low organic carbon, nitrogen and P2O3 high potash having PH 7.8 and ECe 0.5 m mhols. Fertilizer was applied basally @ 50 kg of nitrogen, 20 kg of phosphorous and 20 kg of K2O per hectare. The harvesting of the roots was done after 18 months of sowing. Observations were recorded on 5 randomly selected plants per replication. Essential oil content in the dry root was determined by Clevenger type of apparatus on moisture free basis, Physico-chemical properties of the oil were determined as per Guenther (1950) and Indian Standard Institution, 1.S.326.