Total Pageviews

Ceratonia siliqua-Carob cultivation

Ceratonia siliqua seed

Ceratonia siliqua cultivation

Non-fleshy and bean-like, the carob would not be generally regarded as a fruit, in the food-use sense, except for its sweetness. To many people it is familiar only by name as "St. John's Bread", in allusion to the "locusts" which, according to the Bible, sustained St. John the Baptist in the desert, and the "husks" which tempted the hungry Prodigal Son, though "no man gave unto him." The word "locust" was originally applied to the carob tree; later to migratory and other grasshoppers; and the name is attached to a number of other leguminous trees with pinnate leaves and oblong pods (Gleditsia, Hymenaea, Parkia, Robinia). The carob tree is called carrubo in Sicily, carrubio in Italy, algarrobo in Guatemala, alfarrobeira in Brazil.

The tree reaches 50 to 55 ft (15-17 m) in height and at an age of 18 years may have a trunk 33 in (85 cm) in circumference. The evergreen leaves are pinnate with 6 to 10 opposite leaflets, oval, rounded at the apex, dark-green, leathery, 1 to 2 1/2 in (2.5-6.25 cm) long. The tiny red flowers are in short, slender racernes borne in clusters along the branches–male, female or hermaphrodite on separate trees. The pod is light- to dark-brown, oblong, flattened, straight or slightly curved, with a thickened margin; 4 to 12 in (10-30 cm) long, 3/4 to 1 in (1-2.5 cm) wide, glossy, tough and fibrous. It is filled with soft, semi-translucent, pale-brown pulp, scant or plentiful, and 10 to 13 flattened, very hard seeds which are loose in their cells and rattle when the pod is fully ripe and dry. The unripe pod is green, moist and very astringent; the ripe pod sweet when chewed (avoiding the seeds) but the odor of the broken pod is faintly like Limburger cheese because of its 1.3% isobutyric acid content.

Alphonse de Candolle said that the carob "grew wild in the Levant, probably on the southern coast of Anatolia and in Syria, perhaps also in Cyrenaica. Its cultivation began within historic time. The Greeks diffused it in Greece and Italy, but it was afterwards more highly esteemed by the Arabs, who propagated it as far as Morocco and Spain. In all these countries the tree has become naturalized here and there in a less productive form . . . ".

In Spain and Portugal it survives only on their Atlantic coasts. Throughout the Mediterranean region, it is grown only in the warmest areas near the coast, and the neighboring islands–Cyprus, Crete, Sicily, Sardinia and Majorca. Producers in the Bari region of Italy on the Adriatic coast have long exported the pods to Russia and central Europe. Prince Belmonte in the Province of Salerno, Italy, was a leading influence in the 19th century in the use of the carob as an ornamental and avenue tree and in the planting of thousands for reforestation of the slopes of the Appenines.

Spanish missionaries introduced the carob into Mexico and southern California. In 1856, 8,000 seedlings, from seed brought in from Spain by the United States Patent Office, were distributed in the southern states. More seeds came from Israel in 1859. Many carobs were planted in Texas, Arizona, California and a few in Florida as ornamental and street trees. Seeds privately imported from Dalmatia were planted in California in 1873.

In the Mediterranean region, peasants have virtually lived on the pods in times of famine, but the tree is valued mostly as providing great amounts of pods as feed for livestock, as it is also in the State of Campinas, Brazil. Imported pods used to be regularly sold by street vendors in the Italian section of lower New York City for chewing. In the early 1920's, there was much promotion of carob culture in California, especially allied with the development of arid lands, and there was a flurry of activity in producing "health food" products from imported pods. Some of these products are still sold today, especially as substitutes for chocolate. Dr. J. Eliot Coit, of Vista, California, led in the study of the carob and wrote extensively on its potential improvement as a crop and its utilization.

In 1949, Dr. Walter Rittenhouse provided funds for the establishment of a 30-year test plot in northern San Diego County, where 400 local nursery seedlings and many trees grafted with Mediterranean budwood were planted and evaluated. Fruits from several thousand ornamental carob trees in California and Arizona were collected in an effort to identify superior types for human food use. Budwood of the most promising clones was supplied to horticulturists in Tunisia, Israel, Australia, South Africa, Hawaii, Mexico, Brazil and Chile.

From more than 80 clones, 7 selections made by Coit were set out at the Citrus Research Center of the University of California for preservation. The 7 are, briefly:

'Amele'-an old commercial variety from Italy; S.P.I. #19437. Female. Pods light-brown, straight or slightly curved, 5 1/2 to 6 1/4 in (14-16 cm) long, 3/4 to 1 in (2-2.5 cm) wide; 53.8% sugar content under irrigation near Indio. Flavor good. Season: September at Indio; October at Vista.

'Casuda'-a very old cultivar from Spain. Female. Pod brown, mostly straight; 4 3/4 in (12 cm) long; 3/5 in (1.5 cm) wide; 51.7 % sugar at Vista; 56.7 % under irrigation at Indio. Flavor fair. Season: September at Indio; October at Vista.

'Clifford'-seedling street tree in Riverside. Hermaphrodite. Pod light-brown, slightly curved, 5 1/8 in (13 cm) long, 3/4 in (2 cm) wide; 52.9% sugar content. Flavor fair. Season: early October; bears regularly and heavily.

'Sfax'-from Menzel bou Zelfa, Tunisia; S.P.I. #187063. Female. Pod red-brown, straight or slightly curved; 6 in (15 cm) long, 3/4 in (2 cm) wide; 56.6% sugar at Vista, 45.6% at Indio. Excellent flavor. Season: August at Indio, September at Vista. A regular, medium-heavy bearer.

'Santa Fe'-seedling from Santa Fe Springs, California. Hermaphrodite; self-fertile. Pod light-brown, slightly curved, often twisted; 7 to 7 7/8 in (18-20 cm) long, 3/4 in (2 cm) wide; 47.5% sugar at Vista. Excellent flavor. Season: October. Bears regular, good crops. Good for coastal foothills. Not suited to irrigated culture at Indio.

'Tantillo'-from Sicily; S.P.I. #233580. Hermaphrodite. Pod dark-brown, mostly straight; 5 1/8 to 6 in (13-15 cm) long, 3/4 in (2 cm) wide. Of fair flavor. Season: mid-September to mid-October. Bears heavily and regularly.

'Tylliria'-from Cyprus; their chief export variety; S.P.I. # 189008. Female. Pod dark mahogany-brown, slightly curved, 6 in (15 cm) long, 3/4 to 1 in (2-2.5 cm) wide; 47.4% sugar at Vista; 50.9% at Indio; 48.8% in Cyprus. Good flavor. Season: mid-August to mid-September at Indio; October at Vista. Adapted to coastal foothills. (As reported from Cyprus, seed content is 7.6 to 10.6%; pod contains 51 % sugar and the seeds 49% gum).

These 7 superseded some older cultivars, including 'Bolser', 'Conejo', 'Gabriel', 'Horne', and 'Molino'; all hermaphroditic.

Other common cultivars in Cyprus are:

'Koundourka'-a tree with weeping branches; mature pods generally less than 6 1/2 in (17 cm) long; they split readily; have 14.7% seeds with a high (58%) gum content.

'Koumbota'-a large-growing tree with "knotty" pods with low seed content. Pods contain 53% sugar; seeds, 53% gum.
Grafted types are classed as 'Imera'. The name 'Apostolika' is a general term for seedlings of fair quality. Wild types as a group are called 'Agria'.

In a planting of female trees, one male should be included for every 25 or 30 females. In southern Europe, branches from male trees are grafted onto some of the females in an orchard instead of interplanting male trees.

The carob is slightly hardier than the sweet orange. Young trees suffer frost damage. Mature tees can endure a temperature drop to 20º F (-6.67º C). Frost during the blooming period will reduce or prevent fruit-set. The tree does best in a Mediterranean-type climate with cool, not cold, winters, mild to warm springs, and warm to hot summers with little or no rain. Temperatures in carob-growing regions of Israel may reach 104º to 122º F (40º-50º C) in summer. Ideal annual precipitation is 30 in (75 cm), but widely spaced trees will thrive with only 6 to 15 in (15-37.5 cm) without irrigation in mild climates. The pods should not be exposed to rain or heavy dew after they have turned brown and developed a high sugar content. Wet pods ferment quickly.

The tree flourishes in widely divergent soils, from rocky hillsides to deep sand or heavy loam, but must have good drainage. In Nicosia, Cyprus, a large plantation was developed by dynamiting planting holes in caprock underlaid with limestone (pH 9). The carob is not tolerant of acid or wet soils; it is extremely drought-tolerant.

Fresh seeds germinate quickly and may be sown directly in the field. Dried, hard seeds need to be scarified or chipped and then soaked in water or dilute sulfuric or hydrochloric acid solutions until they swell. In Cyprus, seeds are planted in sand and kept wet for 6 weeks or more, periodically sifting out those that have swollen to 3 times normal size. Germination rate may be only 25%. The swollen seeds are traditionally planted in flats and when they produce the second set of leaves they are transferred to small pots. When 12 in (30 cm) tall, they are transplanted to large containers or nursery rows. A recently developed technique is to plant the seeds in 2 halves of clay drainpipes bound together or in plastic tubes packed in deep wooden boxes to accommodate the long taproot. In perhaps a year, the tubes are split and the seedlings are planted in the field in holes made with a post-hole digger. Budding is done when the stem is at least 3/8 in (1 cm) thick.

The shield-budding system is employed, or sometimes a blend of budding and grafting, in February and March in Cyprus, in April, May and June in California and Mexico. Male trees or those that bear poorly are top-worked to productive cultivars.

The carob grows slowly during the first year. Stem-elongation in young plants has been expedited by application of gibberellin (50 mg/liter monthly, or 25 mg/liter semi-monthly) for 5 months. It is necessary to cut back the taproot 6 months before transferring to the field if the plant is not grown by the tube/post-hole method. Large trees cannot be successfully transplanted.

A good spacing is 30 ft (9 in) apart each way. Most carob growers consider fertilizing unnecessary but the government of Cyprus subsidizes fertilization–so much per tree. Irrigation must be provided in very dry seasons if the tree is grown for its fruits. Budded trees begin to bear in the 6th year from planting. A carob tree may remain productive for 80 to 100 years.

The pods must be harvested before winter rains. They are shaken down by means of a long pole with a terminal hook to grasp the branches. Those that don't fall readily are knocked off with the pole. The pods are caught on canvas sheets laid on the ground. Then they are sun-dried for 1 or 2 days until the moisture content is reduced to 8% or below and then go through a kibbling process–crushing and grading into 4 categories: cubed, medium-kibbled, meal, and seed kernels.

At 6 years of age, a budded tree in California should yield about 5 lbs (2.25 kg). At 12 years, the crop should be 100 lbs (45 kg). Productivity increases steadily up to 25 or 30 years when the yield may average 200 lbs (90 kg). In Israel individual trees have produced 450 to 550 lbs (204-227 kg) 18 years after grafting. Some ancient trees in the Mediterranean area are reported to have borne 3,000 lbs (1,360 kg) in a season.

Pests and Diseases
In the Mediterranean area, the major pest is the carob moth, Myelois ceratoniae. It lays eggs on the flowers or newly-formed pods and the larvae bore into the pods and ruin them. The larvae of a midge, Asphondylia gennadii, cause stunting of the pods. Some of the best cultivars are resistant to these pests.

In Cyprus, the tree is subject to several scale insects: Aspidiotus ceratoniae, Lecanium sp., Lepidosaphes sp. and the red scale, Aonidiella aurantii. A beetle, Cerambyx velutinus, may bore holes in the trunk. Rats climb the trees, hide among the branches, gnaw the bark until the branches die. Such branches are pruned out twice a year. The only pests reported as attacking carob trees in California are scale insects, including the red scale. Ground squirrels feed on plants under 2 years of age. Pocket gophers are very fond of carob roots, and rabbits and deer graze on the young trees.
Diseases are few. In Cyprus, deformation of young pods may be caused by the fungus Oidium ceratoniae. Cercospora ceratoniae occasionally induces leaf-spotting.

Food Uses
Apart from being chewed as a sweetmeat, carob pods are processed to a cocoa -like flour which is added to cold or heated milk for drinking. It has been combined with wheat flour in making bread or pancakes. A flour made by beating the seeded pods is high in fiber and has been utilized in breakfast foods. The finer flour is also made into confections, especially candy bars. The pods, coarsely ground and boiled in water yield a thick, honey-like sirup, or molasses.

The seeds constitute 10 to 20% of the pod. They yield a tragacanth-like gum (manogalactan), called in the trade "Tragasol", which is an important commercial stabilizer and thickener in bakery goods, ice cream, salad dressings, sauces, cheese, salami, bologna, canned meats and fish, jelly, mustard, and other food products. The seed residue after gum extraction can be made into a starch- and sugar-free flour of 60% protein content for diabetics.

In Germany, the roasted seeds have served as a substitute for coffee. In Spain, they have been mixed with coffee.

It has been demonstrated that the extracted sugars of the pod (sucrose, glucose, fructose and maltose in the ratio 5:1:1:0:7) can be utilized to produce fungal protein. Infusions of the pulp are fermented into alcoholic beverages.
More details:

Ceratonia siliqua-Carob seeds are available at:

(Min seeds : 50 seeds per pkt)
Seeds are open-pollinated.Organic from Kashmir Himalaya

The Jammu and Kashmir medicinal Plants Introduction Centre
"Ginkgo House", Nambalbal, 

New Coloney Azizabad, 
Via Wuyan-Meej Road, 
Pampore PPR J&K 192121
Ph: 01933-223705

Pyrethrum seeds

Pyrethrum plant

Pyrethrum Himalaya is economically important as a natural source of insecticide. The flowers are pulverized and the active components called pyrethrins, contained in the seed cases, are extracted. Pyrethrins attack the nervous systems of all insects, and inhibit female mosquitoes from biting. When not present in amounts fatal to insects, they still appear to have an insect repellent effect. They are harmful to fish, but are far less toxic to mammals and birds than many synthetic insecticides and are non-persistent, being biodegradable and also breaking down easily on exposure to light.

Common Name : Pyrethrum
Botanical Name : Pyrethrum (Tanacetum cinerarifolilum 
Plant : The plants bear numerous flower heads which measures 6-9 mm when closed, and 9-12 mm, when open. The involucres consist of 2-3 mm of yellowish or greenish yellow, lanceolate hair bratcs. Each flower head bears a receptacle 4-8 mm in diameter
Soil and Climate : Fertile and well–drained soil is the best for growing pyrethrum successfully.
Cultivation : Pyrethrum is generally propagated by seed as well as the crop can also be raised vegetative by splits. It is successfully grown in plains through seedling prepared by seed in nursery.
Seed rate : Seed 500 gram of seed should be shown in about 50 square meter land for growing nursery for one hectare of land (About 50,000 seedlings).
Preparation of fields : For field preparation one two ploughing with mould board plough followed by 2-3 harrowing and planking are required to get a fine tilth.
Preparation of Nursery : Two to three harrowing are enough for preparation of seed beds.
Manures and fertilizers : Crop responds well to increase level of 60 kg/h Phosphorus.
Intercultural : Pyrethrum crop requires weed free condition particularly in the initial stage of establishments.
Irrigation : Pyrethrum require irrigation every fortnight from planting to harvesting.
Harvesting and drying : Three harvests of flower are obtained as the following continues for 9 months. The crops give poor yield during the first yeas and the optimum yields are obtained only during 2nd and 3rd year.
Yield of flower and pyrethrins content : 225-250 kg/ha/year Flower yield and pyrethrins contents in flower depends on agro-climatic condition and cultural practices.

No of seeds 100 seeds/per packet
The Jammu and Kashmir medicinal Plants Introduction Centre
"Ginkgo House", Nambalbal, 
New Coloney Azizabad, 
Via Wuyan-Meej Road, Pampore PPR J&K 192121
Ph: 01933-223705

Cichory seeds for sale

Cichory plant
Urdu/Hindi name : Kasani
Kashmiri name : Kasneelhand
Chemical Constituents of Cichorium intybus : Seven compounds were isolated from the roots of C. intybus and four of them were identified as alpha-amyrin, taraxerone, baurenyl acetate and beta-sitosterol.
Cichorium intybus-Cichory is found wild in Kashmir,Pakistan and China. Its temperament is cold and moist in the first degree.Its leaves are seeds and roots are used as medicine. Seeds are used in the farm of decoction to treat inflamation of stomach, liver and joints, roots decoctionis used to treat facial paralysis, hemiplegia and arthritis. Single dose of the drug consists of 5 to 7 grams.
Available in 50 grams-1000 grams pkt
(For Research/Cultivation Purpose only)
Note: - Not for commercial use.
Cichory seed Cichory Plant Cichory Root are now available

The JK medicinal Plants Introduction Centre
"Ginkgo House" 
Nambalbal, Pampore 
PPR J&K 192121
Ph: 01933-223705

Jurinea dolomiaea seed

Jurinea dolomiaea-Dhoop roots from Kashmir Himalaya
Synonyms: Carduus macrocephalus, Dolomiaea macrocephala, Jurinea macrocephala
Family: Compositae
Local name : Dhoop
Distribution : Kashmir, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal
Parts used : Root
Other uses : Large quantities of roots are collected for use as incense in house. It is chief ingredient of 'Dhoop' used as incense in temples and at home.
Medicinal use of Jurinea dolomiaea: A decoction of the root is cordial. It is given in the treatment of colic and puerperal fever. The juice of the roots is used in the treatment of fevers. The bruised root is applied as a poultice to eruptions.

Habitat of the herb : Open alpine slopes, 3200 - 3800 metres

Other uses of Jurinea dolomiaea : The root extract is used as an incense. The plant is used for incense.

Propagation of the herb : Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame as soon as it is obtained. Only just cover the s eed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring.

Available parts: Root/Seed
The Jammu and Kashmir medicinal Plants Introduction Centre
"Ginkgo House", 

Nambalbal, New Coloney Azizabad, 
Via Wuyan-Meej Road, 
Pampore PPR J&K 192121
Ph: 01933-223705


Crocus seedlings now available

Saffron seedling

Saffron seedlings are organic. Open-pollinated. Untreated with No GMO's.
Available in : 100,200,500,1000 seedlings per packet
Price :150/-in India per seedling
Min. order : 52 seedlings

The Jammu and Kashmir medicinal Plants Introduction Centre
"Ginkgo House", 
New Coloney Azizabad,
Via Wuyan-Meej Road,
Pampore PPR J&K 192121
Ph: 01933-223705

Nicotiana tabacum seed in India

Buy Tobacco seed
Family: Solanaceae 
(Nightshade Family, Potato Family)
Medicinal use of Tobacco: Tobacco has a long history of use by medical herbalists as a relaxant, though since it is a highly additive drug it is seldom employed internally or externally at present. 

The leaves are antispasmodic, discutient, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, irritant, narcotic, sedative and sialagogue. 
They are used externally in the treatment of rheumatic swelling, skin diseases and scorpion stings. The plant should be used with great caution, when taken internally it is an addictive narcotic. The active ingredients can also be absorbed through the skin. Wet tobacco leaves can be applied to stings in order to relieve the pain. They are also a certain cure for painful piles. A homeopathic remedy is made from the dried leaves. It is used in the treatment of nausea and travel sickness.
The JK medicinal Plants Introduction Centre
"Ginkgo House", Nambalbal, Pampore PPR J&K 192121
Ph: 01933-223705

Balloon Vine-Cardiospermum halicacabum seed

Balloon seed
Balloon plant
Cardiospermum halicacabum seeds
Family : Sapindaceae (Soapberry family)
Common name : Balloon Vine, Love-in-a-puff, heart pea, heartseed
Hindi : Kanphata, Kanphuti,Kapalphodi 
Marathi :Kanphuti
Tamil : Kottavan, modikkottan, mudakattan
Malayalam: Jyotishmati, katabhi
Telugu : Buddakakara, ekkudutige, jyotishmatitige, kasaritige
Kannada : agniballi, bekkinatoddinaballi, erumballi, kakaralata
Bengali : Lataphatkari
Oriya : sakralata
Assamese : kapal phuta
Sanskrit : Bunu-uchchhe,Indravalli, Jyotishmati
Nepali : Jyotismati,Kesh lahara
Cashmeri : Hubli Kul, Zool Posh
French : Pois de Coeur
German : Herzerbse,Herzsame
Malayisa : Peria bulan

Cardiospermum halicacabum-Balloon Vine is a woody perennial vine distributed almost globally in the tropics.  It is a fast growing vine up to 10 feet. Leaves are trifoliate, up to 4 inches long,
with highly lobed leaflets. The plant climb with tendrils and needs some form of support.
The small white flowers bloom from summer through fall, flowers are not very showy.  The fruit is more interesting, from which the plant gets its common name.  It is a brown, thin-shelled, inflated angled capsule up to 3 cm across, containing 3 black seeds each, with a white heart-shaped scar.

Part used : Whole plant,young leaf,roots,leaves, seeds
Actions : Anti-vatha, Analgesic, Diuretic, Laxative, Stomachic, Anti-inflammatory.

Medicinal uses of Cardiospermum halicacabum : : The oil prepared from the leaves acts as a very effective external application for arthritis and other painful conditions of the body.2 to 3 drops of juice of the leaves can be used as a ear drops for ear ache, purulent discharge from ears.

The decoction prepared from the roots can be given for haemorrhoids.
The leaves can be crushed well, ground and applied over the lower abdomen of the delivered woman. This helps in expulsion of waste products out of the uterus.
The decoction prepared from the samoolam or whole plant can be given in the dose of 20 to 30 ml for constipation and abdominal discomfort.
For hydrocele the leaves can be applied as an external paste over the scrotum.
For any inflammation, the leaves cooked in castor oil is ground and applied over the affected areas.
For dandruff, the leaves are soaked in water and then crushed well. This water is used in cleaning the hairs. The oil prepared from the paste of the leaves and gingilly oil can be used as a hair tonic and cure for dandruff.

Tags :, Anti-dandruff herb, Cardiospermum halicacabum and Dandruff,
           Cardiospermum halicacabum and hydrocele, Cardiospermum halicacabum Cream,
           Cardiospermum halicacabum cream for eczema, Cardiospermum halicacabum cream,
           Florasone Cardiospermum Cream, Cardiospermum extract
           Cardiospermum halicacabum in Homeopathic
           Cardiospermum Halicacabum Flower/  Leaf/Vine Extrac,
           Homeopathics - Cardiospermum halicacabum
           Cardiospermum halicacabum  Inflammation (leaf tea preparation  
             Cardiospermum halicacabum and parasitic infestations
                                                                                                                                 Ref: Simediplants,Flowers of India

No of seeds 25 seeds/per packet
The Jammu and Kashmir medicinal Plants Introduction Centre
"Ginkgo House"
Nambalbal, New Coloney Azizabad, 
Via Wuyan-Meej Road 
Pampore PPR J&K 192121
Ph: 01933-223705