Department of Industrial and Medicinal Plants

The history of the establishment of the Department of Industrial and Medicinal Plants dates back to 1988, because on 31 March this year, when in Institute of Detailed Plant Cultivation, the Laboratory of Industrial and Medical Plants was established. In the following years, the number of people dealing with research issues in the field of industrial and medicinal plants increased, which was the basis for renaming (as of 30. 06. 1993) the Laboratory into the Sud-Department of the same name. In view of the great interest of students in the specialization represented by the Department and the needs of the Lublin region, which plays a leading role in the country in the cultivation and processing of raw material for industrial and herbal plants, the concept of establishing an independent teaching and scientific unit, which is the Department, was created. Both the Faculty of Agriculture Council and the University Senate gave a positive opinion on this proposal and the Rector decided to establish on 01. 01. 1997 the Department of Industrial and Medical Plants.

Research focuses on industrial plants (hops, tobacco, willow, oil and fibre plants) and herbal plants (over 30 species). Statutory studies assess the impact of habitat conditions (soil and climate) and various agrotechnical treatments on yields and their quality characteristics (mainly content and stability of biologically active compounds). Detailed research concerns: biology of growth and development, methods and ways of propagation and establishment of plantations, covering and mulching, irrigation and fertigation of organic and mineral fertilization, including foliar fertilization, plant protection, harvest date and method, assessment of raw material quality on the basis of sensory characteristics, biological value and content of biologically active substances of the introduction of certain species from the natural state into field cultivation, assessment of natural resources of medicinal plants.

The Department’s research achievements in recent years:

  • A recipe and instructions for the use of foliar fertilisers for hops – “Chmielvit” and tobacco – “Tytońvit” has been developed. The fertilizers are produced by Intermag from Olkusz;
  • A limit numbers were worked out concerning the abundance of hopper soils in P,K, Mg and their content in the index parts of hop plants;
  • American ginseng cultivation technology in Poland was developed;
  • Agrotechnology of a dozen or so herbal plant species was improved: ribwort plantain, elderberry, St. John’s wort, artichoke, fenugreek, lovage, marjoram, peppermint, dandelion, marigold, goldenrod, marshmallow, mountain rosary, camomile, cordial, thyme, evening primrose, common teasel, arnica, bear garlic, and many others.
  • Development of the method determining hops fertilizing needs on the basis of chemical composition of plants.
  • Development of the tobacco cultivation method allowing for broader plant exploitation (leaves and seeds harvest).
  • Examination of the yield potential and chemical composition of seeds of various types of tobacco.
  • Determination of the influence of density of new tobacco varieties on crops and leaves quality and the development of the cultivation method by means of strip planting which facilitates nurturing and harvesting.
  • In relation to herbal plants: the development of the American ginseng cultivation method (ginseng – not yet cultivated in Poland). It was found that in the case of herbal plants the key factor affecting crop growth is foliar feeding.
  • Modern methods of production of tobacco seedlings and herbal plants with the use of multicellular pallets located in foil tunnels were worked out;
  • Technology of agricultural sewage sludge management in energy crops was developed;
  • Technology of willow cultivation for pharmaceutical purposes was developed;
  • Technology of mountain arnica cultivation was developed.

The Department’s staff conducts teaching classes at four Faculties: Agrobioengineering, Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Animal Sciences and Bio-Economy, Food Sciences and Biotechnology. Every year, the Department provides master’s and engineer’s theses to 30-40 students from several fields of study.