Drying and dehydration of native ornamental plants of Arunachal Pradesh and its value addition
Wild and underutilized plant species particularly ornamental flowers and foliage can be converted into value added products using drying and dehydration technique. The present studies have been carried out to explore the potential of wild ornamental plants of Arunachal Pradesh for the purpose of dry flower making. The plant parts have been collected from different places viz. Pasighat, Bodak, Renging, Menchuka, Bomdilla, Tenga Valley, Yingkiong, etc. A total of fourteen (14) potential plant species had been identified for drying and dehydration without any loss in quality and appearance. The species identified includes Pteridium aquilinum (Eagle Fern/Western Bracken Fern), Lycopodium clavatum (Stag’s Horn Clubmoss/Ground pine), Nicandra phylasoides (Apple of Peru), Scirpus cyperinus (Wool grass), Barleria cristata (Phillipine violet), Cortaderia selloana (Pampas grass), Anaphilis busua (Tall pearly everlasting), Miscanthus spp. (Silver grass), lichens, Phragmites spp. (common reed grass), Davallia bullata (Rabbit foot fern), Tillandsia spp. (Spanish moss), Elsholtzia cristata (Crested late summer mint) and Setaria parviflora (Bristly foxtail). Maximum number of genera belongs to the family of Poaceae followed by Cyperaceae. Seed heads of Cortaderia selloana, Miscanthus spp., Phragmites spp., Erioscirpus comosus, Scirpus cyperinus, Setaria parviflora; leaves of Pteridium aquilinum, Lycopodium clavatum, Davallia bullata; fruits of Nicandra phylasoides, Elsholtzia cristata; flower of Anaphilis busua; dried calyx of Barleria cristata and stem of Tillandsia spp. had also been used for drying and value addition. A cottage industry based on floral craft can become a new area for self-employment of rural youth’s and women through this creative occupation. The quest for searching new materials which can be utilized as dried flowers never ends and in fact is the demand of the hour.
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