Blooming in glory
Flowers and crops around the world have an equal right to brag, be it for nutrition or beautific value.
Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum)
(Location of Photograph: Banda University of Agriculture and Technology, Banda, U.P.)
Picture courtesy: Dr. Pankaj Kumar Ojha, Assistant Professor, BUAT, Banda
While visiting the crop cafeteria of Banda University of Agriculture and Technology, Banda, I chanced upon the view and couldn’t resist taking these photographs. Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) is a high energy cereal crop that contains carbohydrates, protein and fat rich in Vitamin B and A, high in calcium, iron and zinc and also contains potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper and manganese. Pearl millet is the most important millet species, accounting for approximately half the total worldwide production of millets. It is mainly cultivated in India and Africa and is uniquely tolerant of hot and dry conditions. The grain of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) generally has higher fat and hence higher energy, higher protein content, and better quality protein than most other cereal grains. It has been almost exclusively a subsistence crop but today is becoming widely used in commercial small-scale food manufacture. Many traditional foods and beverages are produced from pearl millet, including couscous and flatbreads, doughs, porridges, gruels, nonalcoholic beverages, and beers. Recently, iron- and zinc-biofortified pearl millet has been developed for improved nutrition.
Gaillardia (Gaillardia pulchella)
Shot Location: Agricultural Technology Application Research Institute, Patna.
Pic courtesy: Dr. Pankaj Kumar Ojha
The visual appeal of the daisy-like blanket flower(Gaillardia) attracted me while in the Agricultural Technology Application Research Institute, Patna. Blanket flower is a short-lived annual flowering plant native to the central United States. The branching stem of this plant is hairy and upright, growing to 2 ft tall. The leaves are alternate, mostly basal, 4-8 cm long, with edges smooth to coarsely toothed or lobed. The pinwheel, daisy-like inflorescences are 4-6 cm diameter, vividly colored with red, orange and yellow. The central disc florets of the flower-head tend to be more red-violet, with the outer ray florets being yellow. In one variety, almost the entire flower is red, with only the barest tips of the pedals touched with yellow.