'BRASSICA ALBA' FROM 'CRUCIFERAE' FAMILY

ABOUT 'BRASSICA ALBA' PLANT

Brassica alba 

FAMILY:- CRUCIFERAE
 

BOTANICAL NAME:- Brassica alba
 

NAMES IN OTHER LANGUAGES:
 

SINHALA : Ela-aba
TAMIL : Kagudu, Venkaduku
ENGLISH : White Mustard.
 


DESCRIPTION :
 

An erect, annual herb, about 60 cm high with a few ascending branches, stiff, bright green, bristly with reflexed hairs throughout.
 

LEAVES:- Simple, alternate, petioled, pinnatifid, rough with hairs.
 

FLOWERS:- Regular, bisexual, yellow in corymbose racemes, pedicels longer then the calyx, ebracteate. Seeds- Sub-lobular, 2.5 mm diameter, pale yellow, testa smooth (Jayaweera, 1980).
 

DISTRIBUTION :
 

Grows in east Syria and throughout southern Europe. It is a frequent weed in cultivated ground in England, Minor Asia, Algeria and China (Jayaweera, 1980).
 

EDIBLE PARTS : Seeds, young leaves.
FOOD USE : Used as an ingredient for many varieties of curries and pickles. Seed oil is edible and used for verious preperations. Young leaves are eaten as a green vegetable.
 

NUTRITIONAL AND THERAPEUTIC VALUE :
 

The seeds on grinding, yield a fixed oil and myrosin. They also contain a crystalline principle called sinalbin. Mustard is a powerful stimulant and a valuable rubefacient. It is used as an emetic in narcotic poisoning and diuretic for dropsy. As a poultice, it is applied on the chest for bronchitis pleurisy and for alleviation of neuralgic pains. The powdered seeds are added to warm water and used to bathe the feet in cases of high fever (Jayaweera, 1980). 

ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE: 

Mustard is adopted to widely different climatic conditions. Requires low or moderate rainfall. Grown in all classes of soils except very heavy clays.
 

CULTIVATION:
 

Areas of cultivation - Dry zone of Sri Lanka.
 

Planting season - Maha season.
 

Planting material - Seeds
 

Planting and spacing - normally cultiated in chenas as mixed crop with finger millet. When grown as a pure crop, seeds may be drilled in row, 20 cm apart.
 

Harvesting - Harvest can be obtained after 90-100 days.
 

Yeilds - Pure crop will give about 200-250 kg to 400-500 kg/ha.
 

STORAGE :
 

Seeds can be stored for a long time in dry containers. 

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