A Novel Way for Propagation of Huperzia squarrosa (G. Forst.) Trev.
Huperzia squarrosa (G. Forst.) Trev. is an endangered epiphytic fern ally with economical, traditional and horticultural interest. It posses various alkaloids like huperzine, huperzinine, lycoporine and carina-tumine which are responsible for its medicinal property, and used in treating a wide range of aliments like general weakness, fever due to swelling, brain disorders, Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases. Over the years, it is experiencing rapid decline due to over-harvesting and loss of natural habitats. In order to check the problem and meet increasing demand with year round availability in local markets, a research programme was instituted to develop a suitable propagation protocol that can easily be understood by local growers. Two experimental models A and B (control) and corresponding media (I, II) were formulated separately to study enhancement of artificial bulbils in mature sporophytic tassel ferns (>5 years). In Model A, conventional earthen pots (30×25cm) and Media I were used. Model B was set up using coconut shells filled with Media II. After 6-8 months, bulbils developed in Model A showed efficient viability rate (100%), while bulbils failed to develop in Model B. The study highlights that this rare fern ally can be propagated easily through this novel way, being user friendly and affordable.
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