Shimla, March 20
Floriculture in Himachal Pradesh is to get a boost as the Dr YS Parmar University and Forestry's research station has been designated as the 'lead centre of dahlia testing' in the country, the university said on Wednesday.
The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority of the central government's Department of Agriculture has given the national level designation to the Regional Horticulture Research and Training Station in Dhaula Kuan in Sirmaur district.
This is a big achievement for dahlia cultivation as the flower has been introduced in the state for the first time. The research conducted at the station could pave the way for its commercial cultivation by farmers, the university said in a statement.
The research station forayed into floriculture in 2012, mainly in ornamental plants, but has since made rapid strides in this area.
In 2016-17, under a central government funded Rs 18 lakh project, over 50 cultivars of dahlia of different shapes, colours, sizes and categories were introduced at the station from nurseries and departments from Uttarakhand and adjoining areas.
Principal floriculturist Priyanka Thakur said the objectives of the project were the development of distinctness, uniformity and stability testing guidelines of dahlia and evaluation of species and cultivars.
The farmers could adopt this new crop for cut flowers as well for pot plant production, which could not only help in diversification but also boost the economy and raise farm incomes.
The newly-introduced dahlia cultivars are suitable for pot plant production, borders, mass plantation and cut flowers et al.
Cultivars like Matungini, Mother Teresa, Sister Nivedita, Tenzin, Suryadeva, Jishu, Gilody and S.P. Kamla have been found suitable for low hill conditions.
Matungini, Jishu, Sohini, Black Eternity, Surya Deva, Maa Sharda have been found suitable for cut flower production.
Often called the 'king of flowers', dahlia is grown both for indoor and outdoor elegance.