Morphological and productive characteristics of Rhaponticum carthamoides Iljin

A. Dzhurmanski

Abstract. A three-year- old plantation of 200 pcs. of plants were analyzed and their biometric and economic characteristics were determined according to 19 indices. The observed population was highly heterozygous and it displayed important differences both in their basic biometric indicators (height, width, number and diameter of stems, number and size of leaves and inflorescences), and their economic indicators: yield roots, seeds and secondary autumn growth. Fresh root yield varied widely from 65 to 1185 g, 464 g per plant on average. In plants forming twice as heavy roots than the average there were the following characteristics – 82% of them formed a larger leaf lamina. The third year, 35% of the plants either didn’t form generative organs, or they were sterile. The seed yield of the third year was 9.08 kg/ha and it was 28% lower compared to the previous year; a significant degree of variation in the seed yield of a plant within 1.4 to 28.1 g indicated high heterozigosity of the population. In the standardization of seedlings, it was found that the biggest size group with root neck thickness of over 10 mm and forming several vegetative tips accounts for 26.8% of the seedlings. The three-year-old plants of this group gave an average of 540 g fresh roots from one plant, or 23% more than the next group. There were also 12 times more often high-yield plants with roots weighing over 900 g. The small size group of seedlings with root neck thickness of 5 mm should not be used to create plantations. In carrying out the selection in Rhaponticum carthamoides Iljin it is necessary to use only the biggest size seedling, to choose plants with large leaf lamina, and stem diameter of over 8 mm. as additional indicators.