Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum) is a fast-growing forage crop cultivated throughout the year in tropical and subtropical regions. A phytoremediation study was undertaken at the Agricultural College and Research Institute (AC & RI), Killikulam, Thoothukudi District, Tamil Nadu, India, during 2020-2021 to evaluate the performance of cumbu napier varieties on sodic and neutral soil. Four cumbu napier varieties, CO (BN) 6, CO (BN) 5, KKM 1 and CO (CN) 4, were tested in both soils. Pots were filled with 10 kg of soil. Three cuttings of cumbu napiers per pot were planted as per the treatment schedule. Germination and growth parameters were observed up to three harvests. The results of the present study revealed that the germination percentage of variety CO (BN) 6 was highest (100%) among the varieties under sodic conditions. Growth parameters such as plant height, leaf length, number of leaves, and number of clumps of this variety showed better efficiency under high sodic levels than other varieties. This variety CO (BN) 6 could tolerate and be established well under alkaline soil and produced amaximum plant height (134 cm) and a higher number of clumps (10) during the third harvest. The growth pattern of cumbu napier varieties was in the order of CO (BN) 6> CO (BN) 5 > KKM 1 > CO (CN) 4. Furthermore, the experimental results revealed that cumbu napier could be recommended as a suitable crop for sodic soil.
Alkaline soil, Cumbu napier, Growth parameters, Germination percentage, Pennisetum purpureum, Sodic soil
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