Sexual and vegetative propagation of the medicinal Mexican species Phyllonoma laticuspis (Phyllonomaceae)
Phyllonoma laticuspis leaves are used in Carrizal de Bravo, Guerrero, Mexico, to heal skin lesions such as injuries and smallpox sequelae and to treat diabetes mellitus type 2, and organic extracts of these leaves have been reported to exert antibacterial effects. High demand of P. laticuspis as a medicinal plant has decreased its natural populations, and propagation of the species has not yet been reported. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the vegetative propagation of the species through cutting and air layering, as well as its sexual propagation in a preserved population. For this, concentrations of 1 000, 4 000 and 6 000 ppm of a commercial root enhancer, with indole butyric acid (IBA), and a control treatment without IBA, were applied to the cuttings and air layers. Germination was evaluated under light and dark conditions using lots of freshly collected seeds and lots of seeds that had been stored for three months at 4 °C or 24 ± 2 °C. All experiments were performed in a completely randomized design. The cuttings did not develop roots in any concentration, whereas 100 % of the air layers rooted, displaying vigorous roots in the presence of 4 000 ppm IBA, after four month of treatment application. Regarding germination, more than 60 % of the freshly collected seeds germinated, whereas less than 20 % of the seeds stored at 4 °C, and close to 50 % of the seeds stored at 24 ± 2 °C germinated under light and dark conditions. No significant differences were observed between light and dark conditions, so they were categorized as indifferent photoblastic seeds. The observed moisture content of 13.5 % and germination behaviour as the response to cold storage, suggest that the resultant seed quality was intermediate. P. laticuspis propagation for short-term foliage production can be carried out in air layers, in populations with a high density of adult plants as a source of plant material and for the restoration of disturbed areas, in the same locality. On the other hand, large-scale seedling production, medium-term foliage production and preservation of species variability can be achieved using seeds.