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Solanum indicum

Plant Profile

Family Solanaceae
Ayurvedic name Brihati
Unani name Kateli
Hindi name Jangli bhata
Trade name Bari kateri
Parts used Whole plant,especially roots and fruits
si 1

Solanum indicum - plant

Therapeutic uses

  • The Solanum plant is reported to be bitter, acrid, astringent, carminative, stomachic, resolvent, demulcent, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, and cardiotonic.
  • It is useful in the treatment of asthma, catarrh, dropsy, chest pain, chronic fever, colic, dry and spasmodic cough, oedema, scorpion stings, difficult urination, and worm infestation.

Morphological characteristics

  • Bari kateri is a stiff, much-branched, prickly shrub growing upto a height of 0.3–1.5 m. Prickles are sharp, often slightly recurved, short hooked, and have a broad compressed base.
  • Stem is stout and the branches are covered with minute stellate brown hairs.
  • Leaves are ovate in outline, sparsely prickly on both sides, and measure about 5–15 cm × 2.5–7.5 cm.
  • They are clothed above with simple hairs and have bulbous base intermixed with small stellate ones, while small stellate hairs cover them on the lower surface.
  • Petioles are prickly and about 1.3–2.5 cm long.

Floral characteristics

  • Flowers occur in racemose, extra-axillary cymes.
  • Pedicels are 6–13 mm long, stellately hairy, and prickly.
  • Calyx is 3 mm long, with stellate hair and triangular teeth.
  • Corolla is about 8 mm long, pale, purple, clothed outside with darker, purple, stellate hairs; lobes are 5 mm long, deltoid, ovate, and acute.
  • Fruit is a globose berry, green with white lining when young and becomes yellow when ripe.
  • Sometimes it has a few stellate hairs at the apex.
  • Seeds are small, many, and discoid.
  • Flowering occurs in September–October, while fruits begin to appear in October.

Distribution

  • The species is commonly found throughout the tropical and subtropical India.

Climate and soil

  • Brihati grows well in tropical regions where annual rainfall ranges from 1000 mm to 1500 mm.
  • Sandy loam soil is found to be suitable for the cultivation of this plant.
  • The species is xeric in nature and can grow well in shady places and in areas that receive low rainfall.
  • This species may also be inter-cropped in tree plantation sites.

Propagation material

  • Seeds can be collected in May–June from mature fruits and can be sown directly in the main field.
  • Plantlets can also be raised in nursery through seeds.

Agro-technique

Nursery technique

  • Raising propagules Planting material can be raised in nursery in May– June.
  • One- to one-and-half-month-old seedlings are planted in the field during July–August.
  • Direct seed sowing in a plantation can also be done.
  • Seed is sown in well-prepared nursery beds (size 10 m × 1 m) in June in shady places or in temporary mist chambers of size 10 m × 15 m.
  • FYM (farmyard manure) @ 50 kg and poultry manure @ 2 kg are mixed in soil at the time of bed preparation before sowing seed.
  • Irrigation is done twice a day after sowing to maintain proper humidity.

Propagule rate and pretreatment

  • About 4 kg of seeds are required for sowing in the nursery for planting in 1 hectare of land.
  • No presowing treatment of seeds is required.

Planting in the field

Land preparation and fertilizer application

  • Land preparation is done in June before rains.
  • Land should be ploughed well and made weed-free.
  • Drainage channels should be constructed in the field.
  • This species does not tolerate water stagnation.
  • Five tonnes of FYM per hectare is mixed thoroughly at the time of field preparation.
  • The FYM should be properly mixed with the soil before rains.
  • No inorganic fertilizer is needed.

Transplanting and optimum spacing

  • Nursery-raised seedlings are planted in the field with a ball of earth.
  • Preferably seeds are directly sown in the well prepared field.
  • The germination commences after nine days of sowing and continues till 40 days. Generally, 20–30 days are required for optimum germination.
  • A spacing of 30 cm × 30 cm in the field is optimum for good growth and productivity.
  • The optimum crop stand is about 111 000 plants/hectare.

Intercropping system

  • The species can also be grown as an intercrop beneath fruit-tree orchards.

Interculture and maintenance practices

  • First weeding is done 15 days after transplantation or about a month after direct sowing in the field.
  • Later, regular weeding is required at an interval of 20 days up to maturity of the plants.

Irrigation practices

  • There is no need for irrigation if the annual rainfall is 1200 mm or more.
  • During the fruiting period, that is, from November to February, irrigation may be done on alternate days.
  • Since this species is perennial in nature, irrigation in the summer months helps the plants to survive.

Disease and pest control

  • No serious diseases or insect pests have been observed in crop.

Harvest management

Crop maturity and harvesting

  • Best time for harvesting is April after the species is 9–10 months old.
  • Follow-up crop can also be obtained if plantation is maintained for second year.

Post-harvest management

  • Plucking and collection of fruits are done in April and May.
  • Collected fruits should be dried in shade.
  • Dried fruits are kept in airtight containers.
  • Roots may be dug out manually and washed in fresh water.
  • Harvested roots should be dried in the sun for a short time and then in the shade for 10 days.
  • Well-dried roots are stored in bags and kept in airtight containers.
  • Disposal of the roots should be done within four months of collection, that is, before rains, to avoid fungal infection.

Chemical constituents

  • Fruits and roots contain wax and fatty acids.
  • Alkaloids solanine and solanidine are present in the roots and leaves.
  • Fruits contain 1.8% of alkaloids and can find use in cortisone and sex hormone preparations.

Yield estimates

  • About 800 kg of fruits and 300 kg of seeds are obtained as fresh yield per hectare.
  • Approximately 20 quintals of dried root is obtained from a two-year-old crop.

Source : Agro-techniques of selected medicinal plants



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