Ex-situ Management Study of Some High Value Medicinal Plant Species in Swat, Pakistan
An ex-situ experiment was conducted to evaluate the growth performance of six medicinal species (Aconitum laeve, Bunium persicum, Saussorea lappa, Podophyllum hexandrum, Delphynum roylei and Hypericum perforatum) from upper Swat, Pakistan. Experiments were conducted at four different locations in the upper Swat valley at altitudes ranging from 1200 to 1900 m.a.s.l. The objectives were; 1) to determine the suitability of ex-situ cultivation of different medicinal species, and; 2) to assess the economic feasibility of growing medicinal plants in the area. A highest mean survival of 80.7% across all locations was observed for Hypericum perforatum followed by 58.7% for Bunium persicum. The remaining four species exhibited very poor survival rates, although Delphynum roylei, did show encouraging signs of growth and flowered, before experiencing high mortality rates late in the trial. Altitude generally seemed to enhance the degree of sprouting for all species except Hypericum perforatum. However, the productive yield of H. perforatum was certainly not reduced, but rather slightly enhanced in the higher altitude sites. Overall, cultivation of only two of the investigated species, Bunium persicum and Hypericum perforatum, appeared successful and potentially economically viable under farmland conditions at upper Swat.
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