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Uraria picta

Plant Profile

Family Fabaceae
Ayurvedic name Prisni parni
Unani name Dabra
Hindi name Pithavan, Dabra
Trade name Dabra
Parts used Root and whole plant
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Uraria picta

Therapeutic uses

  • The Uraria species is useful in quick healing of bone fractures.
  • It is used as a cardio and nervine tonic and has anti-inflammatory, expectorant, and diuretic properties.
  • The root of the plant is one of the ingredients of ‘dasamoola’ in Ayurveda.

Morphological characteristics

  • Dabra is an erect, undershrub, 60–75 cm tall, with several branches.
  • Leaves are generally three to five in number, up to nine-foliate.
  • Leaflets are imparipinnate, linear–oblong, obtuse, mucronate at apex, white clouded above and pubescent below.

Floral characteristics

  • Purple flowers occur in dense, cylindrical racemes with bracts; calyx teeth are lanceolate and the corolla is papilionaceous.
  • Pod (fruit) has three to six joints. Flowering occurs from July to September, while fruits mature in December–January.

Distribution

  • Uraria picta is not a very common species, but occurs throughout tropical India, extending up to 300 m altitude in Tarai region of the Himalayas.

Climate and soil

  • The plant can grow well in tropical and subtropical areas.
  • Loam to clay- loam soil is suitable for its cultivation.
  • It can tolerate a soil pH up to 8.5.
  • Propagation material The crop can be raised successfully by seeds, which can be collected in December–January.

Agro-technique

Nursery technique

Raising propagules

  • The crop can be raised by sowing seeds in nursery in April–June, as direct sowing in field results in very poor crop stand and yield.
  • The seed may be broadcast in well-prepared nursery beds of appropriate size (10 m × 1 m).
  • The beds should be watered lightly and regularly.
  • The seeds germinate easily, and the germination is completed within 10 days.

Propagule rate and pretreatment

  • About 4–5 kg seeds are required for raising stock for planting in 1 hectare of land.
  • Overnight soaking of seeds in water before sowing improves germination.

Planting in the field

Land preparation and fertilizer application

  • The land should be pre- pared by deep ploughing followed by harrowing twice and levelling.
  • Organic manure, preferably FYM (farmyard manure), is recommended @ 10 tonnes/hectare at the time of field preparation. DAP (di-ammonium phosphate) @ 100 kg/hectare is also recommended as basal dose.
  • Mycorrhizal association has been found to be beneficial for the crop.
  • Proper drainage should be ensured in the field to avoid waterlogging, which causes death of plants.

Transplanting and optimum spacing

  • Transplanting of 50–60-day-old seedlings is done in the well-prepared field on ridges.
  • Approximately, 111 000 saplings are accommodated in 1 hectare of land at an optimum spacing of 30 cm × 30 cm.

Intercropping system

  • It can be grown as a mixed crop with Desmodium gangeticum and other herbs in inter-row spaces.
  • In case of intercropping, spacing and row distance are increased.

Interculture and maintenance practices

  • Manual weeding is recommended twice at 25, 45, and 90 days after transplantation. Earthing- up of plants is done at the time of second weeding.

Irrigation practices

  • Irrigation may be provided immediately after transplanting.
  • Thereafter, it may be repeated at an interval of 12–15 days in summer (May–June), depending on monsoon rains.

Disease and pest control

  • No serious disease or insect pest has been observed in this crop.
  • The plants show physiological stress due to low temperature (in extreme winter) and water stagnation due to excess rain, which may cause stunted growth, curling, and browning of leaves.
  • The plants easily recover after the stress period is over.

Harvest management

Crop maturity and harvesting

  • The plant roots can be harvested in December or May after flowering, which occurs twice.
  • However, for good yield, roots may be dug/harvested in May–June after about 10 months of growth.
  • Watering the crop is stopped three weeks before the intended harvest time.
  • Whole plants are dug out with spades.
  • Roots are separated from the rest of the plant and cleaned well.

Post-harvest management

  • The washed and cleaned root parts are dried in shade.
  • The dried produce is packed in gunny bags and stored in humidity-free conditions.

Yield and cost of cultivation

  • The yield of dry roots is approximately 3–4 quintals/hectare, while the dry weight of herbs is about 4–5 quintals/hectare.

Source : Agro-techniques of selected medicinal plants



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