Bhejari or Bhatkataiya Plant (Solanum xanthocarpum)
Bhejari plant (भेजरी पौधा) also spelled bhejri is a wild species of plant from the family solanaceae. It is closely related to brinjal or egg plant. The plant is also known by Bhatkatiya plant (भटकटैया पौधा).
General information: Bhejari plant (Bhatkatiya)
|Common name||Bhatkatiya (भटकटैया पौधा)|
|Scientific name||Solanum xanthocarpum|
|Type||Wild species of plant|
|Closely related to||Brinjal or eggplant|
|Use||Rootstock, plant breeding|
|Best cultivation practice||Pot vegetable farming|
(01). Botanical description
Plant: Plant is a clump of many small branches. The plant looks similar to
Argemone mexicana. Winter season plant is a creeper. Plants produce vertical branches in the monsoon season. It is 15-30 cm from the ground level.
Stem: The stems of the plants are very short. It is only 2.5 to 3.5 cm. Main stems are spineless. It produces 5-6 small branches.
Leaves: Leaves are similar to the leaves of Argemone maxicana. Many small, hard, and sharp spines are present on the upper as well as on the lower surface of the leaves. Sharp pointed spines emerge directly from the veins of leaves. Spines are the protection measure against the insect-pests.
Flowers: Flowers are similar to the flowers of cultivated brinjal. There is no difference regarding structure, shape, and colour of flowers between these two species of brinjal.
Fruit: Fruit is a small berry. It is round in shape. Fruits are a little bigger than cherry tomatoes.
- Medicinal importance.
- Research work.
- Breeding programme.
Brinjal and S. xanthocarpum belong to the same family. We can use it as a wild rootstock for the cultivated brinjal crop.
Benefits of using it as a rootstock are as follows:
Grafted portion will produce normal wanted eggplant fruits.
Other branches of the wild plant will produce original fruits.
Vertical branches for grafting.
Rootstock is resistant to wilt. It is also resistant to blight.
The best season for grafting: The plant produces vertical branches in the monsoon season. Hence, the best time for grafting is rainy season.
2.2: Medicinal importance
According to Ayurveda, it is:
- Bitter and pungent in taste.
- Beneficial in asthma, cough, and fever.
- Expectorant, digestive, igniting, and sedative.
- Beneficial in toothache and headache, Beneficial in hemorrhage, epilepsy, and high blood pressure.
It consists sole carpidin alkaloid potassium nitrate and potassium chloride in small quantities.
2.3: Research works
It can be a topic of research work for the students of M.Sc. and PhD.
Topics of a research may be one of the following:
Hybridization programme using eggplant and S. xanthocarpum
Performance of S. xanthocarpum as a rootstock under the draught conditions.
2.4: Breeding programme
A seed producing company can use it to develop a hybrid variety of eggplant.
(03). How to perform grafting?
Preparation of seedbeds: Make 15-20 cm raised seedbeds. Don’t forget to add Farm Yard Manure. It is very important to prepare raised-bed during the monsoon season.
Transplanting: Transplant the seedling plants in plant bags after the appearance of 3-4 leaves.
Grafting: Perform grafting after 1-1.5 months.
Grafting materials: 1. Bhejri plant is rootstock, and tomato is scion. 2. Bhejri plant is root stock, and cultivated brinjal is scion.
- The plant is suitable for tropical and subtropical regions.
- Some plants grow well during the late monsoon season to produce berry.
- The plants prefer cold winter with occasional rains.
- Frequent watering is important in its cultivation.
Types of soils
It can be grown in all types of soils. Loam, sandy loam, laterite, black soil, alluvial soil, deep soil, light soil, sandy soil, and all other types of soils are ideal for this plant.
pH of soil
The plant prefers acidic soil. It can be grown well in soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5.
Regular watering is not necessary.
Frequent watering is important.
Watering after each 1 moth during winter, and watering after each 15 days during summer month is required.
Harvesting is done in 2 stages:
Green mature stage: Fruits are mature and tender.
Ripe stage: Ripe fruits are harvested for seeds.