Plant Diversity ›› 2014, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (02): 254-260.DOI: 10.7677/ynzwyj201413100

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Study of Factors for Cultivating the Orchid Species Gastrodia elata, a Traditional Chinese Medicine

 ZHANG  De-Zhu-1、2, MEI  Liang-1、2, HE  Hai-Yan-3, WANG  Yu-Chuan-3, CAO  An-Jiang-4   

  1. 1 Laboratory of Conservation and Utilization for Bioresources and Key Laboratory for Microbial Resources of the Ministry
    of Education, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China; 2 School of Life Science, Yunnan University,
    Kunming 650091, China; 3 Gastrodia Tuber Research Institute of Zhaotong, Zhaotong 657000, China;
    4 Forestry Science Research Institute of Zhaotong, Zhaotong 657000, China
  • Received:2013-04-26 Online:2014-03-25 Published:2013-08-20
  • Supported by:

    The National Science Foundation of China (30960077, 31360153) and Foundation of Gastrodia Tuber Research Institute of Zhaotong


The orchid speices Gastrodia elata is a valuable traditional Chinese medicine and has been widely applied for treating a variety of diseases. The yield of wild Gelata is very limited since its vegetative growth is exclusively dependent on its symbiosis with the fungus Armillaria mellea, from which Gelata is able to obtain nutrients from rotten wood in the forest. To develop a standard for cultivating Gelata in large quantities, four factors that may influence the yield of Gelata need to be further investigated, including cultivation environment, inoculation volume of Armillaria, wood from different tree species, and the effect of fertilizer on the maturation of Gelata. To optimize these factors, a largescale orthogonal experiment was performed in the farmland of Xiaocaoba, Zhaotong, Yunnan Province. Among the four factors tested, inoculation of Armillaria played the most important role in the maturation of Gelata. The yield of mature tubers, in terms of both tuber weight and quantity, on open ground is greater than that in forested areas. Of the 12 tree species tested, Dipentodon sinicus stimulated the largest amount of growth of Armillaria and produced the greatest yield of Gelata in the farmland. In comparison to the other factors tested, fertilizer showed no effect on the yield of G-elata.

Key words: Gastrodia elata, Armillaria, Cultivation, Ecological factor, Wood

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