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Brassica carinata

AuthorityA. Braun
SynonymsBrassica integrifolia var. carinata (West)Rupr, Melanosinapis abyssinica Hort. ex Regel, Sinapis abyssinica A.Braun
Common namesAbyssinian mustard, Ethiopian mustard, gomenzer, Sukuma wiki (Kiswahili), Figiri (East Africa), Loshuu (Tanzania), Abyssinian cabbage (former USSR), Tamu-Texsel (Texas), Ethiopian rapeseed (Europe, trade mark name)
Ecocrop code3848

DESCRIPTION: An erect annual vegetable 0,9-1,2 m tall at flowering, but known to achieve 1,8 m. It has a deep root system. The stems are reddish-green, often profusely branched with lateral buds. Leaves are alternate, non-heading with long petioles. The foliage is light green with purplish veins, often light brown glabrous or bearing a few hairs on the ribs. Flowers are usually light yellow about 1,5 cm across, on short pedicels on an extended raceme. Flowers are regular with four free sepals in one series and two sets of stamens. The fruit is a silique, usually less than 5 cm long, stout and broad with carinate angles, usually dehiscent. The seed is large and predominantly dark, small, often globular, 0,2 cm thick, filled with embryo. Although, there are yellow-seeded forms and B. carinata is being investigated as a source of large yellow seeds. The weight of 1000 seeds is approximately 3.5 grams. USES: In Ethiopia the plant is used mainly for its tender leaves and sprouts, which are boiled and eaten especially during periods of fasting, which are numerous among the Coptic people. The cooked vegetable accompanies a starchy staple like maize or cassava meal, banana or potatoes. The name of mustard comes from the use of seed in condiments. Seeds are used for oil. The oil finds wide application in the production of water repellents, waxes, polyesters and lubricants. Seed cake remaining after extraction of oil can be used as fertilizer or feed stuff. It is also used as a green fodder crop, green manure and as a cover crop. Interest in this species for industrial uses has been increasing thanks to the particular acid composition of its extracted oil. The seed oil is used to produce bio-diesel or special erucic acid derivatives. KILLING T.: 0oC at early growth. GROWING PERIOD: Annual. The main phenological stages are:- germination: 5-6 days after sowing - emergence to first flowering: 156 days - first flowering to maturity: 69 days. COMMON NAMES: Abyssinian cabbage (former USSR), Abyssinian mustard, Ethiopian mustard, Ethiopian rapeseed (Europe, trade mark name), Figiri (East Africa), gomenzer, Loshuu (Tanzania), Sukuma wiki (Kiswahili), Tamu-Texsel (Texas). FURTHER INF.: Scientific synonyms: Brassica integrifolia var. carinata (West) Rupr, Melanosinapis abyssinica Hort. ex Regel, Sinapis abyssinica A.Braun. The plant has a wide growing range from the UK to North Africa; it is hardy and well adapted to the temperate climatic zones of Europe. The crop is still at an experimental stage. Current work on the crop suggests it may be most suited to semi-arid climates with mild or hot temperatures. Canadian trials suggest it can out-yield the best Brassica napus cultivars in these kinds of environments. The consensus is that the crop could be developed for use in drier areas where Brassica napus is less well adapted; this may include the Mediterranean basin. Developing the crop for use in these areas would allow oilseed production over a greater climatic range. s both heat and drought tolerant but not very resistant to frost; as such best results are achieved by sowing in autumn in Mediterranean areas, whereas in cooler areas (Northern Europe) it is best sown from spring onwards. Sowing date has been found to have a much larger effect on yield than seed rates and, where environments allow, an early autumn sowing is likely to achieve best results. Average yields have ranged from 2t/ha up to 3t/ha in Canada.