||Musli Safed, Biskandri
||India Spider Plant
- It is a perennial herb with a short hard root stocks; roots often thick, fleshy and cylindrical.
- The leaves are 15-35 cm long and oblanceolate.
- The plant is considered endangered species in the country.
- Inflorescence is dense; flowers are arranged in raceme and shortly branched.
- Flowers white, anthers as long as or longer than the filaments and yellow in colour.
- Bracts are usually long and over topping the shortly pedicelled buds.
- Cells of the orbicular capsule are 3-4 seeded and black coloured.
Plant is distributed sparsely over Eastern India, mainly Bengal, Sikkim, Bihar, Assam and few places in Odisha and Meghalaya.
Climate and Soil
- A tropical and subtropical climate with humid atmosphere is suitable for its growth.
- Temperature 20°C-25°C, rainfall 150-200 cm and relative humidity around 70% is suitable for its better performances.
- Sandy-loam and organic matter rich in clay loam soil is suitable for the plant.
Cluster of underground tuberous root and dried root pieces
- Raising Propagules: Root stocks @ 7-10 quintals are required per hectare. Germination of untreated seeds is about 9-12%. Seed treatment with concentrated sulphuric acid for half an hour, followed by treatment of Gibberellic acid (GA) 100 ppm enhances germination upto 38%.
- Propagule Rate and Pretreatment: 45000-50000 seedlings per hectare as a mono crop; whereas 30000-40000 seedlings are required for plantation with Cajanus cajan (Pigeonpea) as a shade plant.
Planting in the Field
- Land Preparation and Fertilizer Application: Land should be ploughed, harrowed 2-3 times to make it to good tilth. FYM @ 20 t/ha may be applied during land preparation. NPK @ 90:30:30 kg/ha is recommended; of this, N is split in 3 doses. The first split of 30 kg N with entire quantity of P and K may be applied at the time of land preparation and rest of Nitrogen be applied after 3 and 6 months of planting.
- Transplanting and Optimum Spacing: Seeds may be sown in line during March in raised beds 10 cm apart. Frequent watering is necessary. By May-June seedlings are ready for transplantation. Shade must be provided in the plantation. 60X30 cm is recommended optimum spacing.
- Intercropping System: Cajanus cajan is found as a good intercrop providing shade to the growing plants.
- Interculture and Maintenance Practices: Hand weeding and hoeing at 4 months interval in first year; thereafter, twice in a year will keep the fields free from weeds.
- Irrigation Practices: Largely rain fed irrigated in dry season only or as required.
- Weed Control: Weed control is required at 45 days after planting and thereafter at 4 months interval. Pre-emergence application of Simazine 2.0 kg/ha or Pendimethaline @ 1.0 kg/ha is followed by hand weeding.
- Disease and Pest Control: No pest and disease infestation is observed in the plantation. Deficiency systems of iron are observed sometimes. Soil testing of the land under cultivation is carried before planting.
- Crop Maturity and Harvesting: One year; harvesting time April – May.
- Post-harvest Management: Uprooting by hoe. Tubers must be cleaned from foreign material and then dried under shade for 15-20 days before packing in clean sacks and stored over wooden pallets.
- Chemical Constituents: Plant contains Sapogenine (0.1%), high percentage of starch, carbohydrate, sugar and minerals like magnesium, potassium and tannin.
- Yield : 500-800 kg dry root yield in second year after planting.
- Tubers having medicinal value are used as general tonic, containing the steroid sapogenine (1-2%), protein (10-20%) and calcium.
- Tubers are fat free and they have high aphrodisiac property.
- It is also useful in diseases like renal calculus, leucorrhoea and diabetes.
Source: Agro-techniques of selected medicinal plants
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