Headspace Volatiles of the Leaves and Flowers of Malvaviscus arboreus Cav. (Malvaceae)

Headspace Volatiles of the Leaves and Flowers of Malvaviscus arboreus Cav. (Malvaceae)


  • Omnia Hesham Abdelhafez Deraya University
  • John Refaat Fahim Minia University
  • Usama Ramadan Abdelmohsen Minia University https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1014-6922
  • Samar Yehia Desoukey Minia University




GC–MS, headspace, malvaceae, Malvaviscus arboreus, volatile constituents


Abstract. Malvaviscus arboreus Cav., commonly known as Sleeping Hibiscus, is a plant species that belongs to the family Malvaceae with ornamental, culinary, and ethnomedical importance. This medicinal herb was reported to exhibit noteworthy antioxidant, cytotoxic, hepatoprotective, and anti-infective activities attributed to the presence of a variety of phytochemicals. In this work, the volatile compositions of the leaves and flowers of M. arboreus were studied and compared for the first time using the headspace gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC–MS) technique. Overall, 39 components were identified, comprising 36 from the leaves and 11 from the flowers, with an evident greater contribution of oxygenated compounds (89.54% in leaves and 89.35% in flowers) to their total volatiles. Phenolic ethers (41.64%) and ketones (21.57%) were the major chemical groups emitted by the flowers, while ketones (27.40%) and carboxylic acids (18.16%) dominated the volatile blends of the leaves. Anethole (32.32%), methyl isobutenyl ketone (19.18%), and methyl chavicol (9.32%) were the most abundant floral volatiles, whereas acetic acid (18.16%) was the major constituent given off by the leaves, followed by 2-cyclohexenone (9.60%) and anethole (7.39%). Additionally, from a biosynthetic point of view, the floral volatiles of M. arboreus showed the prevalence of phenylpropanoids/benzenoids (41.64%); however, fatty acid derivatives (54.30%) predominated among those produced by the leaves. The obtained results revealed noteworthy qualitative and quantitative variations in M. arboreus leaves and flowers' headspace volatiles that would help complement our phytochemical knowledge on this limitedly studied plant.


Resumen. Malvaviscus arboreus Cav., comúnmente conocida como “Sleeping Hibiscus”, es una especie vegetal que pertenece a la familia Malvaceae con importancia ornamental, culinaria y etnomédica. Se ha reportado que esta hierba medicinal exhibe actividades antioxidantes, citotóxicas, hepatoprotectoras y antiinfecciosas notables que se atribuyen a la presencia de una variedad de fitoquímicos. En este trabajo se estudiaron las composiciones volátiles de las hojas y flores de M. arboreus y fueron comparadas utilizando la técnica de cromatografía de gases-espectrometría de masas (GC-MS). En total, se identificaron 39 componentes comprendiendo 36 de las hojas y 11 de las flores, con un evidente mayor aporte de compuestos oxigenados (89,54% en hojas y 89,35% en flores). Los éteres fenólicos (41,64%) y cetonas (21,57%) fueron los principales grupos químicos emitidos por las flores, mientras que las cetonas (27,40%) y los ácidos carboxílicos (18,16%) dominaron las mezclas volátiles de las hojas. Anetol (32,32%), metil isobutenil cetona (19,18%) y metil chavicol (9,32%) fueron los volátiles florales más abundantes, mientras que el ácido acético (18,16%) fue el principal componente desprendido por las hojas, seguido de la 2-ciclohexenona. (9,60%) y el anetol (7,39%). Adicionalmente, desde el punto de vista biosintético, los volátiles florales de M. arboreus mostraron la prevalencia de fenil propanoides/benzenoides (41,64%); sin embargo, los derivados de ácidos grasos (54,30%) predominaron entre los producidos por las hojas. Los resultados obtenidos revelaron variaciones cualitativas y cuantitativas notables en los volátiles de las hojas y flores de M. arboreus que ayudarán a complementar nuestro conocimiento fitoquímico en esta planta estudiada hasta ahora de forma limitada.


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Author Biographies

Omnia Hesham Abdelhafez, Deraya University

Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy

John Refaat Fahim, Minia University

Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy

Usama Ramadan Abdelmohsen, Minia University

Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy

Samar Yehia Desoukey, Minia University

Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy


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