Sai Bharath has been successful in growing this high yield and commercially viable flower round the year including the extreme weather in winter when the mercury plunges to near three degrees. This promises a bright future for those farmers of the region who are into business of floriculture.
“The origin of goldenrod’s common name refers to both the flower’s colour and the plant’s spindly presentation. The genus name comes from two Latin words: solidus (meaning “whole”) and ago (meaning “make”). Botanically named as Solidago canadensis L.
Bharath has developed this plant under the guidance of S S Saravanan, associate professor of horticulture department at SHUATS and with the help of Vijay Bahadar head of department.
“A Pune based farm provided me with the mother plant with a word of caution that this will not survive in climate as found in Prayagraj. The crop can be cultivated throughout the year, bright sunny warm weather is best suited for its healthy growth and can be grown in sandy loam to red loam soils with proper drainage, the factors which were challenging for me to find out in Prayagraj”, said Bharath.
This drought tolerant flower can be grown under varied climatic conditions and is very less attack of pest and diseases. Although it lacks fragrance but is very popular because of its attractive colour and thus used for making of bouquets as a filler material with combination of limonium and Holli Hock flower, he explained.
Using Golden rod fillers in combination with limonium is becoming increasingly popular in India because professional florists use fillers not only to flatter the flowers but also keep the costs down, the horticulturists can not only grown this flower but can get the harvest all year along, he added. Said He adds that apart from its decorative value, this plant has various medicinal properties like anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic and spasmolytic, antibacterial, antifungal, anticancer and immunomodulatory activity.
“Santosh from Manjari farm, Pune told me that this plant is not tolerant to cold temperature and would not survive in winter as witnessed in Pryagraj, when the temperature as low as five degree celcius but I planted the plants in December and the plants stood up with a hope of growing. We have grown the flowers and their quality is extremely good providing that the farmers will get good income”, said Bharath.
Being a high-valued and low-volume crop, this is one of the most demand cut flower in India and in special days the price goes high to Rs 20-25 per spike, which is enough to give an idea to local farmers what profit and sizable market awaits them, he said.
It is more profit for the small and marginal farmers because they can get more income in the available land and in the less investment and they can save labour charges and money by involving family members for harvesting, said his guide Saravanan.