Melia dubia Cav. spatial geometries influence the growth, yield and essential oil principles content of Cymbopogon flexuosus (Nees Ex Steud.) W.Watson

  • N. S. ThakurEmail author
  • Sumit Mohanty
  • R. P. Gunaga
  • N. A. Gajbhiye


The present study was carried out to screen out the suitable spatial geometry of Melia dubia, an industrially important fast-growing multipurpose tree, for Cymbopogon flexuosus by evaluating its growth, physiology, herbage, and essential oil yield and major essential oil principles. The experiment was conducted in 2 years old M. dubia plantations of 2 × 2, 3 × 3, 3 × 2, 4 × 4 and 4 × 2 m spatial arrangement. The study revealed that growth, physiological attributes, fresh and dry herbage production and essential oil yield were higher under silvi-medicinal (M. dubiaC. flexuosus) systems as compared to sole cropping. Among studied silvi-medicinal systems, C. flexuosus attained significantly maximum plant height (109.62 cm), number of tillers (36.25 tillers/clump), plant spread (75.83 cm2) and leaf area (cm2/leaf) under 4 × 4, 2 × 2, 3 × 3 and 2 × 2 m spatial geometries, respectively. Leaf area index and specific leaf weight did not bear any significant effect due to land use systems. Chlorophyll content index (26.62) and leaf nitrogen (1.03%) was maximum under 3 × 2 and 3 × 3 m spatial geometries. Significantly higher total fresh (12.94 tonne/ha) dry herbage yield (6.53 tonne/ha) was highest in 3 × 3 m and 2 × 2 m spatial geometry, respectively. However, it was the least (8.21 tonne ha−1) in C. flexuosus sole cropping. M. dubia (3 × 3 m)–C. flexuosus tree–crop combination provided higher total oil yield (108.78 kg ha−1). The major essential oil principles viz., Citral-a, Citral-b and Geranyl acetate were higher under 2 × 2, 3 × 3 and 2 × 2 m M. dubia spatial geometry. The study pinned out that tree–crop interactions under different M. dubia spatial geometries were positive and hence C. flexuosus could be adopted as intercrop for better quantitative and qualitative attributes.


Citral-a Citral-b GC–MS Geranyl acetate Herbage yield 



Authors are thankful to Dean, ASPEE College of Horticulture and Forestry, Navsari Agricultural University, Navsari, Gujarat, India, for providing necessary support for completion of this research work. Authors heartily acknowledge Dr. P. Manivel, Director, ICAR-Directorate of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Research, Anand, Gujarat, India, for rendering help in phytochemical analysis of essential oil of C. flexuosus in his prestigious institute.


  1. Allard G, Nelson CJ, Pallardy SG (1991) Shade effect on growth of tall fescue: I leaf anatomy and dry matter partitioning. Crop Sci 31:163–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bhattacharya S (2016) Cultivation of essential oils. In: Preedy VR (ed) Essential oils in food preservation, flavor and safety. Academic Press, London, pp 19–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chamoli M, Varshney VK, Srivastava PK, Pandey R, Dayal R (2013) Assessment of biomass yield, essential oil and β-asarone content of Acorus calamus L intercropped with Morus alba L. J Essen Oil Bear Plants 16:763–770CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chauhan SK, Ritu (2005) Towards agroecological health: diversifying traditional crop rotation through agroforestry in Punjab, India. APA News 27:3–4Google Scholar
  5. Chauhan SK, Mahey RK (2008) Poplar cultivation (Revised Edition). Punjab Agricultural University, LudhianaGoogle Scholar
  6. Chauhan RS, Jadeja DB, Thakur NS, Jha SK, Sankanur MS (2018) Selection of candidate plus trees (CPTs) of malabar neem (Melia dubia Cav) for enhancement of farm productivity in south Gujarat. Int J Curr Microbiol Appl Sci 7:3582–3592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chowdhury SR, Tandon PK, Chowdhury AR (2010) Chemical composition of the essential oil of Cymbopogon flexuosus (Steud) Wats growing in Kumaon Region. J Essent Oil Bear Plants 13:588–593CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kumar RD, Sreenivasulu GB, Prashanth SJ, Jayaprakashnarayan RP, Nataraj SK, Hegde NK (2010) Performance of safed musli (Chlorophytum borivilianum) in tamarind plantation as intercrop and sole crop in open area. Int J Agric Sci 6:359–360Google Scholar
  9. Kumar M, Thakur NS, Hegde HT (2015) Growth, herb yield and financial flows from Ocimum spp. intercropped under teak (Tectona grandis L f)-Ocimum spp. based silvi-medicinal system in Gujarat, India. Int J Innov Hortic 4:113–118Google Scholar
  10. Kumar D, Bijalwan A, Kalra A, Dobriyal MJR (2016) Effect of shade and organic manure on growth and yield of patchouli [Pogostemon cablin (blanco) benth] under teak (Tectona grandis l f) based agroforestry system. Indian For 142:1121–1129Google Scholar
  11. Kumar D, Thakur NS, Gunaga RP (2017a) Effects of leaf aqueous extract and leaf litter of Melia composita Willd on black gram [Vigna mungo (L) Hepper]. Allelopathy J 41:127–140. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kumar M, Thakur NS, Bardhan K, Bhusara JB (2017b) Effect of teak (Tectona grandis L)-Ocimum spp-based silvi-medicinal systems on growth and physiological parameters of Ocimum spp. Int J Farm Sci 7:8–14Google Scholar
  13. Luna RK, Thakur NS, Kumar V (2009) Performance of clonal Eucalyptus in different agro-climatic zones in Punjab, India. Indian For 135:1455–1464Google Scholar
  14. Luna RK, Thakur NS, Kumar V (2011) Growth performance of twelve new clones of poplar in Punjab, India. Indian J Ecol 38:107–109Google Scholar
  15. Malarvannan S, Giridharan R, Sekar S, Prabavathy VR, Sudha N (2009) Ovicidal activity of crude extracts of few traditional plants against Helicoverpa armigera. J Biopestic 2(1):64–71Google Scholar
  16. Mohideen MK, Shakila A, Anburani A (2011) Lemon grass. In: Production technology of medicinal and aromatic crop, 2nd edn. Agribios (India), p 316Google Scholar
  17. Nuthan D, Reddy KMC, Kumar SP, Vajranabhaiah SN, Yogeesha TD (2009) Cultivation of Melia dubia on farmlands of Kanakapura taluka Ramanagara district of Karnataka-a success story, Pbli No 224. National Afforestation and Eco-development Board (NAEB), Ministry of Environment and Forests Goveronment of India, University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK Campus Banglore, India, RC, NAEBGoogle Scholar
  18. Parmar AG, Thakur NS, Gunaga RP (2018) Melia dubia Cav. leaf litter allelochemicals have ephemeral allelopathic proclivity. Agrofor Syst. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Parthiban KT, Bharathi AK, Seenivasan R, Kamala K, Rao MG (2009) Integrating Melia dubia in agroforestry farms as an alternate pulpwood species. APA News 34:3–4Google Scholar
  20. Perrin CH (1953) Rapid modified procedure for determination of Kjeldahl nitrogen. Anal Chem 25:968–971CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pooter H, Oliver YH (2000) Effects of seasonal drought gap on under storey seedlings in a Bolivian moist forest. J Trop Ecol 16:481–498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rana VS, Das M, Blazqeuz MA (2016) Essential oil yield, chemical composition, and total citral content of nine cultivars of Cymbopogon species from Western India. J Herbs Spices Med Plants 22:289–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ravitchandirane V, Haripriya K (2011) Intercropping with medicinal plants in Mango cv Alphonso. Plant Arch 11:413–416Google Scholar
  24. Saravanan V, Parthiban KT, Kumar P, Marimuthu P (2013) Wood characterization studies on Melia dubia Cav for pulp and paper industry at different age gradation. Res J Recent Sci 2:183–188Google Scholar
  25. Shaker-Koohi S, Nasrollahzadeh S, Raei Y (2014) Evaluation of chlorophyll value, protein content and yield of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L)/mungbean (Vigna radiata L) intercropping. Int J Biosci 4:136–143Google Scholar
  26. Sharma SN, Shahi AK, Srivaaava TN (2000) Taxonomic relationship of Cymbopogon based on volatile leaf oil chemical constituents. J Econ Taxon Bot 24:115–122Google Scholar
  27. Sheoran OP, Tonk DS, Kaushik LS, Hasija RC, Pannu RS (1998) Statistical software package for agricultural research workers. In: Hooda DS, Hasija RC (eds) Recent advances in information theory, statistics & computer applications. Department of Mathematics Statistics, CCS HAU, Hisar, pp 139–143Google Scholar
  28. Shrivastava S, Saxena AK (2017) Wood is good: but, is India doing enough to meet its present and future needs?. Centre for Science and Environment, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  29. Singh M, Shivaraj B (1998) Intercropping studies in lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) (Steud Wats). J Agron Crop Sci 180:23–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Smitha GR, Rana VS (2015) Variations in essential oil yield, geraniol and geranyl acetate contents in palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii, Roxb Wats var motia) influenced by inflorescence development. Ind Crops Prod 66:150–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Srivastava V, Dubey A, Mishra A (2013) A review on lemongrass: agricultural and medicinal aspect. Int Res J Pharm 4:42–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sudomo A, Hani A (2014) The influence of agroforestry silviculture on productivity and quality of Canna edulis Ker on private forest land. J Degrade Min Land Manage 1(3):137–142. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sujatha S, Bhat R, Kannan C, Balasimha D (2011) Impact of intercropping of medicinal and aromatic plants with organic farming approach on resource use efficiency in arecanut (Areca catechu L) plantation in India. Ind Crops Prod 33:78–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Susheela T, Padma B, Theophilus J, Reddy TN, Reddy PUM (2008) Evaluation of hypoglycaemic and antidiabetic effect of Melia dubia Cav fruits in mice. Curr Sci 94:1191–1195Google Scholar
  35. Suvera AH, Thakur NS, Jha SK (2015) Herbage and essential oil yield of ocimum spp intercropped under Pongamia pinnata based silvi-medicinal system in Gujarat, India. Bioscan 10:81–85Google Scholar
  36. Thakur NS, Kumar D, Gunaga RP (2017a) Transient allelopathic propensity of Melia composita Willd leaf litter on chickpea (Cicer arietinum L). Ind J Ecol 44:443–450Google Scholar
  37. Thakur NS, Kumar D, Gunaga RP, Singh S (2017b) Allelopathic propensity of the aqueous leaf extract and leaf litter of Melia dubia Cav on pulse crops. J Exp Biol Agric Sci 5:644–655Google Scholar
  38. Vandana Bhatt RK (1999) Physiological changes in Sesbania species to reducing light intensities. J Agron Crop Sci 182:43–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Vijayan P, Raghu C, Ashok G, Dhanaraj S, Suresh B (2004) Antiviral activity of medicinal plants of nilgiris including Melia dubia. Indian J Med Res 120:24–29PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Vrbnicanin S, Kresovic M, Bozic D, Simic A, Maletic R, Uludag A (2012) The effect of ryegrass (Lolium italicum L) stand densities on its competitive interaction with cleavers (Galium aparine L). Turk J Agric For 36:121–131Google Scholar
  41. Yadava AK (2009) Economical response of cultivation of lemon grass (Cymbopogon flexousus ‘CKP-25’) under agroforestry system. Indian J Agrofor 11:66–70Google Scholar
  42. Yasodha DM, Kumari Manimegalai, Binu S, Vijayakumar K (2011) Larvicidal effect of Melia dubia seed extract against the malarial fever mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus. Curr Biotica 5:102–106Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Silviculture and Agroforestry, College of ForestryNavsari Agricultural UniversityNavsariIndia
  2. 2.Indian Council of Agricultural Research -Directorate of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants ResearchBoriavi, AnandIndia

Personalised recommendations