In order to evaluate the effects of foliar application of micronutrients (iron and zinc) on yield and essential oil of chamomile, two field experiments were carried out in 2008 and 2009 at the Research Station of Faculty of Agriculture, University of Tabriz, Iran. Both experiments were arranged as factorial on the basis of randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications. Treatments were foliar application of micronutrients (Fe, Zn and Fe + Zn through ferrous sulphate and zinc sulphate at the concentration of 0.35%) and time of application (at stem elongation, flowering and both stages) with control (without foliar application). The results showed that flower yield, essential oil percentage, and essential oil yield increased by foliar application of Fe and Zn compared with control (untreated). The highest flower yield (1963.0 kgha-1), essential oil percentage (1.062%), and essential oil yield (20.835 kgha-1) were obtained for Fe + Zn spray treatment with about 46.4, 24.64, and 81.77% improvements in comparison with control, respectively. The time of foliar application had significant effect on flower dry yield, essential oil percentage and essential oil yield. The foliar application at both stages of stem elongation and flowering had more beneficial effects on thesecharacters as compared with spray at only one stage. It seems that foliar application of iron and zinc can considerably improve flower yield and essential oil content of chamomile especially in calcareous soils.
Key words: Chamomile, essential oil, foliar application, iron, yield, zinc.
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