Influence of different levels of spacing and manuring on growth, yield and quality of Alpinia calcarata (Linn.) Willd. Baby P Skaria, PP Joy, Samuel Mathew and J Thomas. 2006 Kerala Agricultural University, Aromatic and Medicinal Plants Research Station Odakkali, Asamannoor-683 549, Ernakulam, Kerala, India. Abstract The perennial herb, Alpinia calcarata is a rhizomatous plant which finds uses in many medicinal formulations that stimulate digestion, purifies blood, improves voice and maintains vigour. Studies at AMPRS, Odakkali showed that the plant grows up to a metre producing around 24 suckers/plant/year. The fresh rhizome yield of 23t/ha (6t/ha dry) on an average was obtained by planting 1-1.5t/ha of seed rhizomes at 40 x 30 cm spacing. The manures and fertilizer requirement is 20t/ha of FYM or 100:50:50 kg N:P:K/ha/year. Preferred harvesting time is between 36 and 42 months after planting. Application of bio-fertilizers, green manures and mulches were beneficial for further improving the yields. Essential oil content in the rhizome is 0.22% and in root it is 0.55%. Key words: Medicinal herb, Alpinia calcarata, rasna, spacing, manuring, yield, essential oil

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Introduction Alpinia calcarata (Linn.) Willd. is a perennial herb cultivated for its aromatic and medicinal rhizome in tropical areas of southern and eastern parts of India. It is commonly known as lesser galangal; rasna in Sanskrit and kulainjan in Hindi. The rhizome and root contain tannins and flavonoids, some of which have been identified as kaempferide, galangin and alpinin (Sastry, 1961). Green rhizomes on hydro-distillation yields a pale yellow oil with pleasant odour containing 48% methyl cinnamate and 20-30% cineole in addition to camphor and probably -pinene (Chopra et al., 1957). Husain et al. (1992) reported 18 monoterpenoids of which -pinene, -pinene and limonene were the major compounds and 17 oxygen containing monoterpenoids with cineole, terpinen-4-o1, and -terpineol as minor compounds. Itokowa et al. (1987) isolated two antitumour principles from A. calcarata. The rhizomes are used in the preparation of expectorants and carminatives and are useful in vitiated conditions of vata and kapha, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammations, stomatopathy, pharyngopathy, cough, asthma, hiccough, dyspepsia, stomachalgia, obesity, diabetes, cephalalgia, tubercular glands and intermittent fevers (Warrier et al., 1993). It is a major ingredient of Rasnadi kashaya, Rasnadi churna, Rasnadi taila, Asvagandharishta, etc (Sivarajan and Balachandran, 1994). Though the plant is adapted to tropical climate and large scale demand exists for its rhizome, no attempt has been made to develop cultivation technology to improve its yield and quality. This study was taken up to work out the optimum spacing and manurial requirements of A. calcarata for obtaining maximum rhizome and oil yields. Materials and Methods The study was conducted at the Aromatic and Medicinal Plants Research Station (AMPRS), Odakkali during 1996-1999. The soil of the experimental area had a pH of 5.50 and was low in available N, high in available P and medium in available K. The treatments comprised of 20 factorial combinations of 4 spacings (20x20, 30x20, 30x30, 40x30 cm) and 5 manurial treatments (FYM, 20t ha-1; N, P2O5 and K2O at 100:50:50 kg ha-1; Green manuring in situ; Azospirillum at 10 kg ha-1 and control) were replicated thrice in randomised block design. The crop was planted with the onset of monsoon in May, raised as rainfed crop and harvested after two years. In the cowpea green manuring in situ treatment, cowpea seeds were sown at 25 kg ha-1 at planting and the plants were uprooted 30 days after planting and used as mulch. Organic manures and biofertilisers were applied as basal. In the case of inorganic fertilisers, P was applied as basal while N and K in two equal splits at planting and 2

two months after planting. Growth observations were recorded two months after planting (at the time of weeding and topdressing) and the yield observations at the time of harvest. Total N, P and K contents of rhizome and available N, P and K levels of soil were recorded after harvest. The plant materials were hydro-distilled for 5 hours in Clevenger’s apparatus for extracting the oil. The data were pooled and statistically analysed. Results and Discussion The data on growth attributes of Alpinia showed that spacing and manurial practice significantly influenced all the growth parameters (Table 1). Plant height was maximum (88.4 cm) at 40 x 30 cm spacing which was on par with that in 60 x 40 cm spacing. Number of suckers clump-1 as well as number of leaves sucker-1 increased with increase in spacing from 30 cm x 20 cm to 60 cm x 60 cm. FYM application recorded maximum plant height, number of suckers clump-1 and leaves sucker-1. On an average over a period of two years, Alpinia grew to a height of 85 cm and produced 52 suckers clump-1 and 11 leaves sucker-1. The yield data of the trial are furnished in Table 2 and the interaction effects are illustrated in Figures 1-2. With respect to the main effect, the rhizome yield was maximum at 30 x 20 cm spacing, which was on par with that in 40 x 30 cm spacing. Yield was also maximum with FYM application, which was on par with NPK application. The higher yield resulting from FYM or NPK application was due to significantly higher number of suckers plant-1, leaves sucker-1 and increased plant height. FYM application was significantly superior to all other manurial treatments with respect to oil yield. Application of biofertiliser Azospirillum at 10 kg ha-1 and cowpea green manuring in situ was beneficial. The oil recovery did not vary significantly due to the treatments. The average yield was 41.07 t ha-1 of fresh rhizome or 11.49 t ha-1 of dry rhizomes. Fresh rhizomes gave 27.98% dry rhizomes. The mean oil recovery was 0.20% on fresh weight basis or 0.71% on dry weight basis. The interaction effects of spacing and manuring treatments on the rhizome and oil yields of Alpinia were statistically significant. The fresh rhizome yield reached a maximum of 60.69 t ha-1 at 30x20 cm spacing with FYM application, followed by 53.30 t ha-1 at 30x20 cm spacing with NPK application (Figure 1). The effect of cowpea green manuring was maximum at 40x30 cm spacing (49.93 t ha-1). Biofertiliser application recorded the highest rhizome yield (46.60 t ha-1) at the closer spacing of 30x20 cm. The oil yield was maximum (133.52 l ha-1) at 30x20 cm spacing with FYM application, followed by 103.36 l ha-1 at 40x30 cm spacing with NPK application (Figure 2). The nitrogen content of rhizome increased with increase in spacing while that of K showed the reverse trend, except at the 3

wider spacing of 60x60 cm (Table 3). The status of available NPK in soil did not vary significantly due to the treatments. In case of manuring treatments, N content in rhizome was highest with the application of NPK and green manure, whereas the P content was highest with the application of green manure. The interaction effects indicated that N contents of Alpinia rhizome were higher at wider spacing (60x60 and 60x40 cm) with the application of NPK, whereas it was higher at medium spacing (60x40 and 40x30 cm) with the application of green manure (Figure 3). At the narrowest spacing of 30x20 cm, cowpea green manuring resulted in the build up of available P and K in the soil (Figures 4-5). Alpinia rhizomes contained on an average 0.08% N, 0.06% P and 0.44% K on dry weight basis at the time of harvest. The soil nutrient status was 273.30 kg ha-1 N, 77.30 kg ha-1 P2O5 and 159.54 kg ha-1 K2O after the harvest of the crop. Green manuring had a positive effect on the N and P contents of rhizomes. Conclusion The results revealed that the optimum spacing for maximum rhizome and oil yields was 40x30 cm in Alpinia calcarata. Application of FYM at 20 t ha-1 year-1 produced significantly higher rhizome yield, followed by NPK at 100:50:50 kg ha-1 year-1. Oil recovery was unaffected by the treatments. References Chopra IC, Khajuria BN & Chopra CL. 1957. Antibacterial principles of Alpinia galanga and Acorus calamus. Antibiotics Chemother. 7 : 378. Husain A, Virmani OP, Popli SP, Misra LN, Gupta MM, Srivastava GN Abraham Z & Singh AK. 1992. Dictionary of Indian Medicinal Plants (p. 26) CIMAP, Lucknow, India.. Itokowa H, Morita H, Sumitomo T, Totsuka N & Takeya K. 1987. Antitumour principles from Alpinia galanga. Planta Med. 53 (1) : 32-33. Sastry MS. 1961. Comparitive chemical study of two varieties of galangal. Indian J. Pharm. 23 : 76. Sivarajan VV & Balachandran I. 1994. Ayurvedic drugs and their Plant Sources (pp. 398401). Oxford and IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi. Warrier PK, Nambiar VPK & Ramankutty C. 1993. Indian Medicinal Plants. Vol.3 (pp. 9296). Orient Longman Ltd., Madras. Table 1. Effect of spacing and manurial treatments on the growth parameters of A. calcarata

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Treatment 1. Spacing (cm.) 30 x 20 40 x 30 60 x 40 60 x 60 CD (.05) 2. Manuring Control FYM NPK GM BF CD (.05) Interaction Sp.x Ma.

Clumps/ plot (No.)

Plant height (cm)

Suckers/ clump (No.)

Leaves/ sucker (No.)

Cowpea biomass (kg/ha)

37.47 19.27 10.93 7.27 1.48

82.59 88.44 85.33 81.52 7.88

38.13 50.91 49.57 68.51 5.29

8.48 9.62 9.27 10.76 0.90

868.06 1041.67 1186.35 3472.22 1370.14

19.08 19.17 19.00 17.50 18.92 NS NS

79.90 90.18 89.48 85.98 76.81 8.81 17.62

53.15 57.10 55.06 47.01 46.60 5.91 11.81

9.23 10.23 9.03 9.60 9.57 1.00 2.01

---1642.08 ----

Table 2. Effect of spacing and manurial treatments on the yield parameters of A. calcarata Treatment

Fresh Dry rhizome Oil yield rhizome yield (l ha-1) -1 -1 yield (t ha ) (t ha )

1. Spacing (cm.) 30 x 20 47.29 13.23 40 x 30 46.42 12.99 60 x 40 36.81 10.31 60 x 60 33.85 9.48 CD (.05) 2.40 0.67 2. Manuring Control 36.63 10.24 FYM 45.14 12.64 NPK 44.86 12.57 GM 38.89 10.90 BF 39.93 11.18 CD (.05) 2.69 0.75 Interaction Sp.x Ma. 5.38 1.50 FWB = Fresh weight basis, DWB = Dry weight basis

Oil recovery FWB (%)

Oil recovery DWB (%)

91.29 93.53 77.33 66.36 4.69

0.19 0.20 0.21 0.20 NS

0.69 0.72 0.75 0.70 NS

75.78 94.80 86.73 76.30 74.91 5.25 10.50

0.21 0.21 0.19 0.20 0.19 NS NS

0.74 0.75 0.69 0.70 0.67 NS NS

Table 3. Effect of spacing and manurial treatments on the nutrient content of A. calcarata rhizomes and available nutrient of soil 5

Treatment

Nutrient content of rhizome (%) N P K

1. Spacing (cm) 30 x 20 0.05 40 x 30 0.07 60 x 40 0.12 60 x 60 0.08 CD (.05) 0.022 2. Manuring Control 0.09 FYM 0.06 NPK 0.10 GM 0.10 BF 0.05 CD (.05) 0.025 Interaction 0.050 Sp.x Ma.

Available nutrient of soil (kg ha-1) N P2O5 K2O

0.07 0.05 0.05 0.06 NS

0.56 0.44 0.34 0.41 0.100

239.4 267.4 234.6 236.1 NS

85.18 83.54 84.77 91.84 NS

162.50 160.77 152.79 162.12 NS

0.04 0.06 0.05 0.08 0.06 0.015 0.030

0.36 0.43 0.49 0.46 0.44 NS 0.224

255.6 234.9 229.3 248.7 253.3 NS NS

74.44 85.97 87.51 89.18 94.55 NS NS

157.41 159.72 161.28 170.33 148.99 NS NS

6

( t h a -1 ) 70 60 50

BF GM

40 30

NPK

20 10

FYM C o n tro l

0 30x20

40x30 60x40 (S p a c in g , c m )

60x60

F ig . 1 . In te ra c tio n e ffe c t o f s p a c in g a n d m a n u rin g tre a tm e n ts o n th e fre s h rh iz o m e y ie ld o f A . c a lc a ra ta

-1

(l h a ) 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0

BF GM NPK FYM C o n tro l

30x20

40x30 60x40 (S p a c in g , c m )

60x60

F ig . 2 . In te ra c tio n e ffe c t o f s p a c in g a n d m a n u rin g o n th e o il y ie ld o f A . c a lc a ra ta

tre a tm e n ts

7

(N % ) 0 .2 5 0 .2

60x60

0 .1 5

60x40

0 .1

40x30

0 .0 5

30x20

0 C o n tro l

FYM

NPK

GM

BF

(S p a c in g , c m )

F ig . 3 . In te ra c tio n e ffe c t o f s p a c in g a n d m a n u rin g tre a tm e n ts o n th e n itro g e n c o n te n t o f A . c a lc a ra ta rh iz o m e

(P % )

0 .1 5

60x60 60x40

0 .1

40x30

0 .0 5

30x20

0 C o n tro l

FYM

NPK

GM

BF

(S p a c in g , c m )

F ig . 4 . In te ra c tio n e ffe c t o f s p a c in g a n d m a n u rin g tre a tm e n ts o n th e p h o s p h o ru s c o n te n t o f A . c a lc a ra ta rh iz o m e

(K % )

1 .5

60x60

1

60x40 40x30

0 .5

30x20

0 C o n tro l

FYM

NPK

GM

BF

(S p a c in g , c m )

F ig . 5 . In te ra c tio n e ffe c t o f s p a c in g a n d m a n u rin g tre a tm e n ts o n th e p o ta s s iu m c o n te n t o f A . c a lc a ra ta rh iz o m e 8

Influence of different levels of spacing and manuring on growth ...

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