BACKGROUND: Two Ocimum basilicum cultivars, ‘Vikarsudha’ and ‘CIM-Saumya’, grown in the Kumaon region of western Himalaya were evaluated for their essential oil yield and composition at different stages of plant growth during two distinct cropping seasons (spring–summer and rain–autumn).
RESULTS: The highest yield of essential oil was obtained at full bloom stage in both cultivars in both cropping seasons. The essential oils obtained from different stages in two cropping seasons were analysed by capillary gas chromatography with flame ionisation detection, and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The major component of cultivar ‘Vikarsudha’ was methyl chavicol (84.3–94.3%), while for cultivar ‘CIM-Saumya’ the main components were methyl chavicol (62.5–77.6%) and linalool (14.4–34.1%).
CONCLUSION: This study clearly indicated that cultivar, cropping season, plant ontogeny and plant part had significant effects on the yield and quality of the essential oil of O. basilicum. Further, the amount of methyl chavicol in the cultivars grown in this region was higher than in cultivars from other parts of India. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry