Chemical analysis of essential oils from different parts of <i>Ferula communis</i> L. growing in central Italy

<p><i>Ferula communis</i> is a showy herbaceous plant typical of the Mediterranean area where it is used as a traditional medicine. The plant is a source of bioactive compounds such as daucane sesquiterpenes and prenylated coumarins. In Italy, most of phytochemical studies focused on Sardinian populations where poisonous and nonpoisonous chemotypes were found, while investigations on peninsular populations are scarce. In this work, we report the chemical characterisation of the essential oils obtained from different parts of <i>F. communis</i> growing in central Italy. The chemical profiles of the plant parts, as detected by GC-FID and GC-MS, were different from each other and from those reported in insular populations. Notably, α-pinene (10.5%), γ-terpinene (7.6%) and hedycariol (8.4%) were the major volatile constituents in flowers; α-pinene (55.9%), β-pinene (16.8%) and myrcene (5.9%) in fruits; β-eudesmol (12.1%), α-eudesmol (12.1%) and hedycariol (10.3%) in leaves; (<i>E</i>)-β-farnesene (9.5%), β-cubebene (8.2%) and (<i>E</i>)-caryophyllene (7.2%) in roots. The volatile profiles detected did not allow to classify the investigated central Italy population into the poisonous and nonpoisonous chemotypes previously described in Sardinia.</p>