The bushes of Sunn hemp (Crotolaria juncea) are flowering on the fallow fields. Also called Indian hemp , this plant is native to India and has been grown here from ancient times . It is also currently grown in many tropical countries all over the world.
Sunn hemp is a valuable source of the silky golden organic fibre that is used for making ropes and coarse cloth. The plant itself being of the leguminous family, has nodules on it’s roots containing bacteria, which fix atmospheric nitrogen into the soil, replenishing it’s fertility.Hence it is a great cover crop to be grown on depleted and fallow lands, and often the farmers will allow it to dry where it stands, before ploughing it into the soil as green manure.
The leaves of Sunn hemp also contain high levels of precious aminoacids and can be fed as such to sheep, but the toxins that nature packs in to ensure that it is not eaten into extinction by grazing animals, ensures that it can be fed to other farm animals only after suitable drying and being made into hay.
In many countries, it is raised as a fodder crop and thick leafy stands also ensure that the weeds donot get a chance to grow, even without sprinkling herbicides.
They also have lovely flowers that the bumble bees love and that brighten a rainy day. 🙂