Chemotaxonomic and Micromorphological Traits of Satureja montana L. and S. subspicata Vis. (Lamiaceae)



Satureja montana and S. subspicata are used as spice, pepper substitute, for preparing tea, juice, and as a medicine. Fourteen populations (seven per species) of Satureja montana L. and S. subspicata Vis. growing in Croatia were examined to determine the chemical composition of the essential oil (analyzed by GC-FID and GC/MS), the content of macroelements (Na, K, Ca, Mg) and trace elements (B, Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, Al, Pb, Cr, Cd, Ni, Hg, As) analyzed by ICP-AES, antioxidant compounds (analyzed by UV/VIS spectrophotometer), and the types and distribution of trichomes (analyzed by scanning electron microscopy). The main constituents of the essential oil were carvacrol and thymol in S. montana (all populations belong to one phenol chemotype), while α-eudesmol, β-eudesmol, and spathulenol dominated in S. subspicata (three chemotypes could be distinguished). Both species possess considerably higher quantities of Ca and Mg, and moderate concentrations of K and Na, while Hg and As levels were below the limit of quantification. Non-glandular trichomes, peltate trichomes, and three types of capitate trichomes were observed on leaves, stem, calyx, and corolla.