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Title: Kair (Capparis decidua): A potential ethnobotanical weather predictor and livelihood security shrub of the arid zone of Rajasthan and Gujarat
Authors: Singh, Dheeraj
Singh, Ranjay K
Keywords: Kair;Capparis decidua;Economic desert shrub;Traditional food;Traditional medicine
Issue Date: Jan-2011
Publisher: NISCAIR-CSIR, India
IPC Code: Int. Cl.8: A47G 19/26; A23K; A01D 14/09; A01D 14/10; A01D 7/12
Abstract: Capparis decidua (Forsk.) Edgew. commonly known as Kair, is an important indigenous shrub found growing along farm boundaries, orans, gochars (local grasslands) and wastelands, widely distributed in arid and semi-arid tracts of India. It is a densely branched shrub, reaching a height of 4-5 m, with a clear bole of 2.5 m. Its branches are tender and waxy with rough, corky, gray bark. Kair has the ability to survive in various habitats and can grow unattended and unprotected on barren lands. It has good soil binding capacity, a fair tolerance to salinity and alkalinity, and can help to improve the fertility of sand dunes and reduce alkalinity. Its xerophytic qualities, including a deep taproot system, scanty foliage, mucilaginous sap and tough conical spines make this shrub suitable for cultivation on a large scale, especially to combat soil and wind erosion on sandy wastelands. Significantly, the plant’s unique capacity to tolerate drought and heat make it a good weather forecasting species, and it has played an important role in the rural economy of western Rajasthan and Gujarat. It provides people with food (pickle and vegetable), medicine, fodder, wood for carving, and fuel. The plant’s mature fruits serve as valuable and integral source of nutrition for villagers of arid and semiarid regions, and the immature fruits are collected from natural stands and serve an additional source of income and nutrition for the rural poor. Medicinally, it is used to treat in cardiac and gastric troubles. It is also commonly used as a biofence and its termite-resistant wood is used by rural people for making handles, cartwheels, and other items.
Page(s): 146-155
ISSN: 0975-1068 (Online); 0972-5938 (Print)
Appears in Collections:IJTK Vol.10(1) [January 2011]

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