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Guizotia abyssinica

Authority(L. f.) Cass.
SynonymsPolymnia abyssinica L.f., (1781), Verbesina sativa Roxb. (1807), Polymnia frondosa Bruce (1813), Parthenium luteum Spr. (1818), Heliopsis platyglossa Cass. (1822), Jaegeria abyssinica Spr. (1826), Ramtilla oleifera DC. (1834), Guizotia oleifera DC. (1836), Veslingia scabra Vis. (1840)
Common namesniger, niger seed, guizotia oléifere, gingellikraut, nug, noug, neuk, sorguja, sarguza, alashi, verrinuvvulu, payellu, hechellu, karale, ramtil
Ecocrop code6567

DESCRIPTION: Herbaceous annual, 0.5ˆ1.5 m tall; stems pubescent to tip; leaves opposite, sessile, subcordate to ovate-lanceolate, serrate, subscabrous, to 22 cm long; involucre with ovate, biseriate scales; flowers yellow, conspicuous, in solitary or clustered heads to 2 cm across, arranged in corymbs; heads with 40ˆ60 tubular hermaphroditic florets, surrounded by a marginal row of ligulate florets, flowering in each head lasting 7ˆ8 days, cross-pollinated, probably by bees. GROWING PERIOD: Annual herb, flowering about 70 days from sowing and harvested after about 90-150 days. USES: Niger is cultivated as an oil seed crop, the seeds yielding about 30% of a clear, excellent, edible oil which is slow-drying, used in foods, paints, and soaps, and as an illuminant. It is used as a substitute for olive oil, can be mixed with linseed oil, and is used as an adulterant for rape oil, sesame oil, et al. Seeds can also be used fried or as a condiment. Seeds pressed with honey are made into cakes in Ethiopia, and the press-cake from oil extraction is used for livestock feed. Whole plants are used as green manure in the pre-flowering stage. Seed is commonly used as food for cage birds. Plants are used as a 'bee plant'. COMMON NAMES: Niger seed, Kalatil, Sarguia, Tilangi, Karala. FURTHER INF.: Scientific synonym: G. oleifera. Niger seed is native of the Ethiopian highlands. It can be grown at altitude between 200-2500 m or even higher in Nepal for instance. In India it is often grown in hill areas of high rainfall and humidity. In India it has become a weed of other cultivated crops. High winds and hail when the seed is mature may cause severe shattering. Yields of 250-400 kg/ha are common in India, while a good yield is 1 t/ha.
Weiss E 1983 pp 486-507 [DRA, PHO, TEMP, KTMP, RAIN, LIMIT, TEXT, PH, FER]
Duke J 1975 pp 17 [PH, RAIN, TEMP]
Roecklein J 1987 pp 346 [USE]
Edwards S 1984 pp 109
Kernick M 1961 pp 358