Flowersby PR Sarkar
Flowers are grown for their beauty, fragrance, essential oil, medicinal value and floral nectar.
Some flower seeds can be eaten, used in cooking or processed to produce oil.
For example, flowering plants like night jasmine (shephali or Nyctanthes arbortristis) and ghandharaj can be grown for their fragrant flowers, while sunflower has edible seeds and can be grown as an oil crop or roadside plant.
Flowering trees such as bakphul (Sesbania grandifloria) can also be grown along roadsides or in beauty spots.
Some plants which have attractive or useful flowers include:
- rose (guláb)
- magnolia (campá)
- queen crepe myrtle (járul)
- safflower (kusum, Carthamus tinctorius)
- shveta karabii
Rose is one of the most popular flowers in the world. It is grown throughout India, including Ánanda Nagar, although it is difficult to grow in a hot climate. Rose oil and essence are quite common. Roses need five requirements to grow properly – a dry environment, sunshine, cold, laterite soil and calcium.
Magnolia is common in India and the liquid extract often used for making scent (ittar), perfume, incense and other scented products.
Queen Crepe Myrtle (Járul)
Queen crepe myrtle is grown as a roadside plant at Ánanda Nagar. A violet extract used in dyeing can be made from the flower.
Safflower (Kusum, Carthamus tinctorius)
Safflower has a yellow-pink flower and thorns. It is a winter crop. Non-poisonous food colouring can be made from the petals, and sweet-scented edible oil can be made from the seeds. The colour extracts from aparajita (Clitoria tarnatea), night jasmine (Nyctanthes arbortristis) and safflower are non-poisonous.
Research should be done on safflower to produce colour extract commercially, increase the flower production and the percentage of oil in the seeds, and improve the quality and range of colours in the flowers.
Poppy has many varieties and is grown for its flowers and seeds.
Varieties of poppy may be cultivated in one or two rows around a wheat field. Poppy should not be cultivated with early boro paddy because if the water level in the paddy field suddenly rises, the poppy crop might be destroyed.
One variety of poppy is the source of opium. Opium poppy needs extremes of temperature to grow properly.
In India, opium poppy cultivation requires the prior approval of the government.
Research on opium poppy and any other narcotic plant such as Cannabis indica (ganga), or their cultivation, should not be done on our integrated farming projects.
Research on opium poppy should be conducted by the government.
Kaiṋcan is a small flowering tree which is often used as a boundary plant.
Shveta Karabii is a decorative flower plant which grows to a height of about feet. It is used as a boundary plant.