Michigan State University
The phenological characteristics, oil content, and fatty acid composition of 34 selections of Cuphea procumbens have been studied. The mean seed yield per plant was 9.7 +/- 0.43 g. Maximum seed yield (16.7 g) was noticed in NBC-27, while the average number of fruits per plant was 124.9 +/- 10.7. The oil content in the seeds ranged from 16.7-28.7%, maximum being in NBC-34. The fatty acid composition revealed the presence of capric acid (C10:0) in all the selections of C. procumbens as the major constituent of the oil ranging from 87.7-94.6%. C. procumbens showed its novelty as an alternative source of capric acid and may be utilized as a renewable resource in the production of plasticizers and lubricants which wholly depend on petrochemical import. Researches are in progress in order to obtain tolerant cultivars against wild plant characteristics and some delayed seed shattering plants have been identified.