So many different plants produce essential oils and terpenes, which are the reasons why a lot of fruits and plants have their characteristic smell. Terpenes are mainly the responsible to produce so many types of aromas from a wide spectrum of fruity, floral, earthy and gas terpene compounds, depending on the plant. In this article, we break down the most common terpenes found in different plants, and the effects terpenes have and why plants produce them. Also, we will review what Atami products can help boost terpene and oil production.

A lavender flower. The aroma is more perceptible in this part of the plant due to its higher concentration of trichomes and terpenes.
A lavender flower. The aroma is more perceptible in this part of the plant due to its higher concentration of trichomes and terpenes.

What are Terpenes? Are they Present in All Kinds of Plants?

Terpenes are substances produced by plants as secondary metabolites with different functions for the plant. Terpenes can range from a defensive function for the plant, acting as an insecticide or antimicrobial, to attracting pollinators. Terpenes are usually the major constituents of essential oils and are the ones that provide the characteristic aroma. This is because most terpenes are volatile compounds, i.e. they are suspended in the air and can be smelled.

 

Terpenes can be found in all plants, as they serve many primary functions. For example, they are part of chlorophyll and some plant hormones, and some carotenoids are terpenes as well.

 

But the best-known terpenes are those that have applications for us, especially those with aromatic qualities. They play an important role in traditional medicine and herbal remedies, and terpenes continue to be investigated for their potential medical and pharmaceutical uses, of which there are many as we will see.

Close-up of a plant rich in glandular trichomes where terpenes can be found in high concentrations.
Close-up of a plant rich in glandular trichomes where terpenes can be found in high concentrations.

The Most Common Terpenes and Properties Explained

Myrcene

The most abundant terpene found in hop essential oil and can constitute as much as 70% of the essential oil by volume. Is the responsible for the fresh, herbaceous, green aroma of dry hoppers beers. But it can also be found in many different plants as citrus fruits, mangoes, cannabis, lemongrass, thyme, and bay. β-Myrcene reported biological activities include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. Also is associated with an analgetic and sedative effect.

 

Limonene

Typically associated with lemons, limes and orange peel, limonene is also found in mint, fennel, anise, juniper and many others. Limonene has shown several biological properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antinociceptive and gastroprotective characteristics.

Limonene is one of the most recognizable and aromatic terpenes.
Limonene is one of the most recognizable and aromatic terpenes.

Pinene

It is found mainly in conifers (pine and spruce), Juniperus spp and Cannabis spp, but also in aromatic plants such as basil, parsley, dill, rosemary. This terpene is responsible for the smell of fresh pine needles and earthy aromas. Pinene has many therapeutic properties and was used to treat respiratory tract infections for centuries. It can help with inflammation, stress, and anxiety.

 

Linalool

Found in many different foods and spices such as oregano, basil, spearmint, coriander, thyme, limes, grapes, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, blackcurrants, and pineapples. The linalool activity on the central nervous system, mainly acting as an antidepressant agent, is increasingly abundant. Also seemed to have significant analgesic effects.

 

Caryophyllene

This terpene is found especially in clove oil, hops, basil, black pepper, rosemary, and cinnamon. Another terpene that has anti-inflammatory properties associated with it and is used as a therapeutic.

 

Where are the Terpenes Found on Plants?

Plants generally store terpenes in secretory cavities, as in the orange peel where essential oils accumulate, or in trichomes.

 

Trichomes are found on the surface of different organs/tissues of different plants and have different shapes, such as head, star, hook, and scale. When we talk about terpenes, they are usually found in the glandular trichomes of plants, which are small structures with a head-like appearance because of the secretory cell at the apex. They have the capacity to biosynthesise and secrete terpenes.

The highest concentration of terpenes is found in these small structures known as trichomes.
The highest concentration of terpenes is found in these small structures known as trichomes.

Which Atami Products Can Increase Terpenes and Aroma Profiles?

If you are growing fruits, flowers, or vegetables in your garden, then you will want the most aromatic and tasteful outcome possible. We strongly recommend Bloombastic, Bi-Bloombastic, Rokzbastic and ATA NRG Flavor which will ensure you have the most flavorsome and terpene-rich fruits, vegetables and herbs next harvest. For more information about the Bastic line, check out https://growlikeapro.atami.com/.

 

Atami’s conclusion

Terpenes play a massive role in the aroma and taste of your plants and fruits. Each plant, and even each variety, has their own terpene profile so the potential to discover new is always around the corner! Good luck working through diverse types of plants and varieties and discovering which special aromas and flavors are your favorites!

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