Although several species of ferns possess a characteristic odor, only a few published studies have described their volatile constituents. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the chemical composition of essential oils from two chemically unexplored fern species, Anemia hirsuta and Anemia raddiana. These species were collected during the day in ravine banks of Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil. Fresh leaves of the ferns were individually turbolized with distilled water and submitted to hydrodistillation in a Clevenger-type apparatus for three hours. The essential oils obtained were subjected to gas chromatography/mass spectrometry for identification. Nine compounds were identified in Anemia raddiana essential oil, accounting for 81.3% of the total oil, where the sesquiterpene β-selinene (46.8%) was the major compound. Thirteen compounds were identified in Anemia hirsuta (92.3% of the total oil) and the sesquiterpene β-caryophyllene was the major compound (48.7%). No similarity was observed between the chemical profile of essential oils obtained from A. hirsuta and A. raddiana. Likewise, extremely low similarities (≤6.2%) were observed between these species and three previously published profiles of Anemia tomentosa var. anthriscifolia.
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Vol. 103 • No. 4