Impact of Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) Leaf, Bark, and Core Extracts on Germination of Five Plant Species

  •  Charles Webber III    
  •  Paul White Jr    
  •  Dwight Myers    
  •  Merritt Taylor    
  •  James Shrefler    


The chemical interaction between plants, which is referred to as allelopathy, may result in the inhibition of plant growth and development. The objective of this research was to determine the impact of kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) plant extracts on the seed germination of five plant species. Four concentrations (0, 16.7, 33.3 and 66.7 g/L) of kenaf leaf, bark, and core extracts were applied to the germination medium of redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus L.), green bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Mill.), cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), and Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) seeds. The treated seeds were placed in a non-illuminated incubator at 27 oC. Germination was recorded after 7 days in the incubator. Seed germination decreased with increasing extract concentration for all the plant species tested, except for green bean. Tomato, cucumber, Italian ryegrass, and redroot pigweed followed similar trends in their responses to the extract source (kenaf bark, core, and leaves) and the impact of extract concentration. The research demonstrated that kenaf leaf extracts were allelopathic by reducing seed germination for tomato, cucumber, Italian ryegrass and redroot pigweed. Sensitivity to the allelopathic impact of the kenaf leaf extracts from highest to lowest was Italian ryegrass > tomato > redroot pigweed > cucumber > green bean, with reductions in percentage germination of 79% (Italian ryegrass), 78% (tomato), 53% (redroot pigweed), 40% (cucumber), and 0% (green bean). Future research should pursue cultural practices to utilize these natural allelopathic materials to benefit crop production and limit weed competition, assess the impact of kenaf extracts on post-germination growth, and isolate the active ingredients in the kenaf leaf extracts that are allelopathic.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.