Chemical composition and herbicidal activity of the essential oil from a Cistus ladanifer L. population from Spain

Nat Prod Res. 2012;26(17):1602-9. doi: 10.1080/14786419.2011.592835. Epub 2011 Oct 18.


The essential oil composition of Cistus ladanifer grown in central Spain was analysed by gas chromatography and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, revealing it to be rich in oxygenated compounds, with trans-pinocarveol (20.00%), bornyl acetate (7.03%) and terpinen-4-ol (6.37%) as the main monoterpene compounds. Viridiflorol (13.59%) and ledol (4.36%) were the main constituents of the oxygenated sesquiterpene fraction. Large amounts of α-pinene (4.70%) were found in the hydrocarbonated fractions. To study its possible use as a natural herbicide, the oil was tested in vitro against Amaranthus hybridus, Portulaca oleracea, Chenopodium album, Conyza canadensis and Parietaria judaica, completely inhibiting A. hybridus germination, and nearly blocking C. canadensis and P. judaica germination at all concentrations assayed. In P. oleracea, the oil showed less effect, inhibiting its germination at the higher doses studied. It did not control C. album germination. Regarding seedling length, the oil had strong phytotoxic activity, being effective at all concentrations tested.

MeSH terms

  • Amaranthus / drug effects
  • Bicyclic Monoterpenes
  • Chenopodium / drug effects
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Cistus / chemistry*
  • Conyza / drug effects
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Germination / drug effects
  • Herbicides / chemistry*
  • Herbicides / pharmacology*
  • Monoterpenes / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Parietaria / drug effects
  • Portulaca / drug effects
  • Spain


  • Bicyclic Monoterpenes
  • Herbicides
  • Monoterpenes
  • Oils, Volatile
  • alpha-pinene