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About Sisal Plant

Context:

A research team at Stanford University has found the absorption capacity of a sisal-based material to be higher than those in commercial menstrual pads.

Relevance:

GS III: Species in News

About Sisal Plant:

  • Botanical Characteristics: Sisal is a xerophytic, monocarp, semi-perennial leaf fibre-producing plant known for its thick, fleshy leaves often coated with a waxy layer, typical of xerophytic plants.
  • Leaf Properties: The leaves of the sisal plant can reach up to 2 meters in length, and its lifecycle spans approximately 7-10 years, yielding 200-250 usable leaves during this period.
  • Fiber Yield: Each leaf boasts around a thousand fibers, highly valued for manufacturing ropes, paper, cloth, and even absorbent materials.

Soil Preferences: Sisal plants prefer dry, permeable, sandy-loam soils enriched with liming materials (Ca and Mg). However, they can also thrive in various soil types.

  • Indian Growth Regions: In India, sisal cultivation is prominent in Odisha, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, parts of Bihar, the western region of West Bengal, and several southern states.
  • Propagation Methods: Sisal propagation primarily relies on vegetative means such as ‘bulbils’ and ‘suckers,’ contributing to its widespread cultivation and adaptability.
Climatic Adaptation:
  • Adaptation to Arid Environments: Well-suited for arid conditions, the sisal species displays xerophytic traits, making it resilient to water-scarce environments.
  • Temperature and Rainfall Tolerance: It thrives in temperatures up to 40-45°C and requires evenly distributed rainfall ranging from 60-125 cm for optimal growth.

-Source: The Hindu


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