Clonal propagation of Pelargonium sidoides: A threatened medicinal plant of South Africa.


FB Lewu, DS Grierson and AJ Afolayan*

Pelargonium sidoides is used in herbal medicine for the treatment of various infections. Apart from the local uses, the roots are being indiscriminately harvested for local and export trade. A study was conducted to determine the appropriate plant part and the minimum vine length suitable for the clonal propagation of P. sidoides in two separate experiments. In the first experiment, three vine tip cuttings (2, 4 and 6 cm) of the species were rooted in potted experiment in a green house. In the second experiment, ten days old petioles were excised from their mother plants and rooted alongside 6 cm vines length to assess suitable plant part for vegetative propagation of the species. Data were collected and analyzed on various growth and development indices. In the first experiment, the 6 cm vine length exhibited best result for different parameters measured. Petioles gave significant yield difference over 6 cm vine length and generally showed high potential for vegetative propagation in terms of rooting ability and survival rate. The importance of these findings on the propagation and conservation of P. sidoides is discussed

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