||Root and whole plant
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
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.
- 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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