Sandy sainfoin: description and flowering time, how much honey per hectare, benefits

Sandy sainfoin: description and flowering time, how much honey per hectare, benefits

Honeylands are needed for the development of beekeeping. Bees are needed for pollination of buckwheat and sunflower crops in order to get a good seed crop. Honey collections can be crops of forage crops, such as alfalfa and one of the cultivated wild-growing subspecies of sainfoin - sandy. Apiaries are taken to the fields during mass flowering to collect honey, before mowing the green mass. Bees are also needed to obtain the seed material of the honey plant.

History of culture

The botanical name of the plant "sainfoin" has synonyms explaining the distribution area, growth method, characteristic features:

  • Siberian;
  • Donskoy;
  • Dnipro;
  • Tanaite;
  • sandy kopeck;
  • rabbit peas;
  • gorse red;
  • white cornflowers.

It is assumed that sainfoin began to be cultivated as a cultivated plant in the southern pastures of France in the 15th century. The shepherds noticed that the animals that ate this plant never suffered from bloating. According to some sources, the Transcaucasian sainfoin was known for its qualities as a fodder crop in the 10th century.

Description and characteristics of sainfoin

There are over 150 wild species in the Esparcet family.

Of these, three species have been cultivated:

  • vital/sowing;
  • Caucasian;
  • sandy.

Vikoleaf is an annual, grown mainly as a fodder crop. The Transcaucasian species in terms of green mass yield exceeds the sowing one, as it gives two mowings per summer. During flowering, there may be honey flow before the first cut.

Sandy, under favorable conditions, retains the ability to grow up to 8 years. It differs from the sowing and Transcaucasian in a more powerful root system, tallness and adaptability to frost and drought. It is grown in the Volga region, Western Siberia, in the North Caucasus, as a fodder and honey crop.

Cultivated sandy sainfoin is a herbaceous plant reaching a height of up to 0.8 meters. A powerful rod-shaped root system can go in loose soils to a depth of 3 meters. The main array of roots is concentrated at a distance of 20 centimeters from the soil surface. The peculiarity of the structure of the root gives the plant the ability to absorb poorly soluble compounds of phosphorus and calcium from the soil.

The stems are straight, thick, not branched, coarsening at the base with age. The leaves are compound, petiolate, of 6-10 pairs of oblong small (up to 3 cm) leaflets formed from the nodes on the petiole and the upper leaflet.

The flowers are large, pink or white, resembling a butterfly, collected in a large (from 15 to 20 cm) spike-shaped brush. The brown-brown fruit has the shape of a bean, up to 7 mm in size, inside of which there is one seed. The flowering period is from May to July. Pollinated by insects, including bees. In nature, sandy sainfoin grows on all types of soil, except for marshy, flooded or groundwater close to the surface.

Due to a well-developed root system, the plant is drought-resistant and frost-resistant.

Sandy sainfoin is able to overwinter in a snowy winter at sub-zero temperatures below 40 degrees. Sainfoin leaves do not die after the temperature drops to -12 degrees.

Types of honey plant

Sainfoin seed has one varietal hybrid.

Transcaucasian esparcet has 7 hybrids:

  • Akhalkakaksky;
  • Pink 89;
  • Flugistion;
  • Altair;
  • Krasnodar 90;
  • Kirovograd;
  • North Caucasian.
  • North Caucasian.

Sandy has 2 hybrids: Sandy 1251, Sandy improved.

Where does it grow?

The birthplace of sandy sainfoin is the north of the Balkan Peninsula.

Further, the area of its growth spread to Central Europe (France, Italy), through the forest-steppe zone of the European part of Russia to Transbaikalia and Yakutia, as well as in Kazakhstan and in the east of Central Asia.

The wild-growing species is divided into three subspecies depending on the region of growth:

  • European;
  • Siberian;
  • Ferghana.

The range of the European ends with the Cis-Urals zone. Siberian is spoken from the Urals to Transbaikalia and Northeast Kazakhstan.

In the State Register of Plants of the Russian Federation, the wild-growing sandy sainfoin is listed as endemic:

  • Central;
  • Volga-Vyatsky;
  • Central Black Earth;
  • North Caucasian;
  • Middle Volga;
  • Nizhnevolzhsky;
  • Uralskiy;
  • West Siberian;
  • East Siberian region.

Fergana subspecies grows in South-Eastern Kazakhstan and in the east of Central Asia. Varietal hybrids of sandy sainfoin are zoned in Ukraine, Moldova (Sandy 1251), Northern Kazakhstan (Sandy improved). In the first case, the variety is mid-season, has good frost and drought resistance. In the northern, northeastern regions of Kazakhstan, climatic conditions are more severe, therefore, a late-ripening, hardy to temperature extremes and lack of moisture second hybrid variant is bred here.

How to grow honey plants

Sainfoin is cultivated in fodder, field and soil-protective (greening of slopes) crop rotations. To increase the mass of the ground part of the plant during sowing, superphosphate is added to the soil. The soil is pre-treated with cultivators to destroy the roots of weeds.

Seeds undergo pre-sowing preparation:

  • cleared from impurities of other seeds;
  • for 2-15 days they are pickled from gray and white rot, fusarium, anthracnose;
  • on the day of sowing, they are treated with nitragin and molybdenum fertilizers.

Sowing depth depends on the type of soil: 3-4 cm - on heavy, 4-7 - on light. Seeds begin to germinate at a soil temperature of 1-2 degrees, the optimum temperature regime is 18-25 degrees. For active development, plants require loose, high calcium, loamy and sandy soils, the best option is limed chernozems. On highly saline, acidic, waterlogged soils, sandy sainfoin produces weak seedlings.

Terms of flowering and honey productivity

Sandy sainfoin has a spring type of development. Seeds are sown under the cover of other crops (2-3 days before sowing) or uncovered. Under cover, the honey plant grows more slowly, the flowering phase begins the next year, at the end of July. When uncovered, flowering time occurs in May-July. By this time, apiaries are taken to the fields or tinned slopes for pollination and honey collection. Productivity can reach up to 100 kilograms of honey per hectare.

Healing properties

Sandy sainfoin has long been used by traditional healers, traditional medicine uses plant materials to obtain auxiliary medicines. Useful substances are found in all ground parts, including seeds, and plant roots.

Leaves, stems and flowers are harvested during the flowering period. Seeds and roots - in autumn.

The medicinal value of a plant lies in its presence:

  • flavonoids;
  • glucose;
  • sucrose;
  • raffinoses;
  • amino acids;
  • carotene;
  • ascorbic acid;
  • fatty oils with solid fatty acids;

For medicinal purposes, infusions and decoctions are prepared from plant materials, which are prescribed in combination with other medications to regulate blood sugar and cholesterol, in case of disruption of the gastrointestinal tract. The high content of ascorbic acid gives tonic and restorative effects. Amino acids contribute to the recovery of the body after a serious illness and prolonged strenuous physical effort.

Sandy sainfoin is included in herbal preparations prescribed by traditional healers for insomnia, depression, and neurotic conditions.The roots of the plant are used in homeopathy and traditional medicine to treat the prostate gland and impotence. Preparations from sandy sainfoin are contraindicated in children, pregnant and lactating women, as well as persons intolerant of any herbal component.

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