Friday, August 31, 2012

Tobacco Plants and Flowers


During the rainy season, the fields turn in to pot of gold. As we drove past certain places in the Mandya-Mysore district, the crops that were being cultivated were paddy, jowar, sugarcane, bananas, tomatoes, lady's finger, and marigold. Some fields were in different phases of paddy cultivation. A few sugarcane fields had just harvested the canes and had burnt the land to clean the remains. In a few more days time or as I write this blog, the fields may be set for new plantation. Almost every village had a jaggery making unit, and the aroma of fresh jaggery was intoxicating. The world not only looked beautiful but also smelled lovely!

Wait a minute… What’s that plant? Oh my God, it’s tobacco! There were fields and fields of tobacco. Initially, I didn't realize that the crop was tobacco because I had never seen tobacco plants. After pondering, I guessed that the crop was tobacco. We saw several farmers cutting the leaves, arranging them in a particular manner, drying them, and loading them on to their carts - so many different phases. We stopped our car, went to a field, and touched the tobacco plant. The plants have some sort of an odor. Don't get enthusiastic and smell the plant especially if you are allergy prone!



Tobacco is a flowering annual plant. Loves the Sun; helps enhance the flavor. The plant is supposed to be hardy, and easily adapts to different types of soil and climate. The young leaves are dark Green; as they mature, the color turns to Yellow and the texture becomes rough. Did you know that tobacco flowers are pretty? Yes, they are colored Pink or Rose. We didn't get to see the seeds.



After I returned home, I read a few articles about tobacco cultivation. Read that Karnataka posted a production of 104.2 million kilograms during April 2012. The newspaper, TimesofIndia, quoted: "Tobacco is cultivated on 90,000 hectares in Mysore and Hassan region, the tobacco belt in the state. Earlier it was 1.05 lakh hectares." The newspaper, The Hindu, had an article about how the lack of rainfall affected tobacco growers. Due to a good return on investment, the farmers seem to be chopping trees to make way for tobacco cultivation. The newspaper, Deccan Herald, reported the issue.

Also, see http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/annual/flowering-tobacco/.

Well, it's fun to learn about a new plant.

Caution: Before you can start growing tobacco at your garden, farm, or home, please check with your local authorities whether it is illegal or not.

Regards,
Asha

8 comments:

  1. Wow, a nice picture too , of tobacco flower, which I saw for the first time. In Guntur AP too lot of this stuff is grown,as cash crop, ( with chilies).

    Lovely , informative post Asha.

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    1. Thanks! Guntur's chillies are super hot.

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  2. I have always loved the flowers of tobacco...so pretty. Your photos highlight that beauty.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I loved the flowers too. Such pretty combination, and they stood out among the green leaves.

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  3. Interesting post; the flowers are very pretty and delicate; very much in contrast with the plant itself

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    Replies
    1. Welcome, Chitra. The contrast attracts.

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Thanks for visiting the blog site. Please leave a message to share experiments at your garden or to send me a feedback about my experiments. Even a simple "Hello" would make my day!

Regards,
Asha

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