Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry




Eleven lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L.) populations originating from different sources in Turkey and European countries were investigated in two ecologically different locations, Menemen and Bozdağ, in the Aegean region of Turkey over three years to determine the populations having high quality and yield. There were significant variations between locations, years and populations in terms of yield and quality characters. The ecology was highly suitable in Menemen for growing lemon balm successfully and almost all yield and quality characters in Menemen were significantly higher than those in Bozdağ. The plant height, green herb yield, drug leaves yield and essential oil rate over populations and years were 47.58 cm, 2869 kg.ha^{-1}, 496.9 kg.ha^{-1} and 0.067% respectively in Menemen while they were 20.73 cm, 416 kg.ha^{-1}, 90.0 kg.ha^{-1} and 0.036% respectively in Bozdağ. The growth of populations in this study increased after the first year of the trials in both locations; therefore all yields were significantly higher in the second and third years of the trials compared to the first year. The populations numbered 9 and 7, originating from Germany and Romania, had high yield and quality and they were the two most promising populations for lemon balm cultivation in the locations studied. The green herb yield, drug leaves yield and essential oil rate of population 9 over three years at Menemen were 3389 kg.ha^{-1}, 593.1 kg.ha^{-1} and 0.085% respectively while they were 2888 kg.ha^{-1}, 565.1 kg.ha^{-1} and 0.097% respectively for population 7. The main component of the essential oil of the lemon balm was geranial in both locations and the average geranial rate was 38.13% in Menemen and 53.68% in Bozdağ. Hence, Menemen ecologic conditions were suitable for growing lemon balm with high yield and quality. Populations originating from Romania and Ege University Agricultural Faculty (Germany) are recommended to growers.

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