Prairie Carnation®: a new crop for western Canada
Prairie Carnation (Saponaria vaccaria L.) is a member of the family Caryophyllaceae. The crop is intended for large-scale contract production on the prairies. Several members of this plant family are grown as ornamentals. No members of the Caryopyhllaceae are used as food or feed products in Canada. Prairie Carnation® will be used as a renewable bio-product crop to produce fine starches for cosmetics and other industries. Saponins extracted from the seed will be used for veterinary and medical applications and are being tested as a vaccine adjuvant and also as an active compound for some clinical treatments. Peptides from Saponaria seeds show antibiotic effects and are tested as cosmetic active compounds. Research has been conducted to advance crop development in 2005 and 2006 at the Alberta Research Council (ARC) in Vegreville, Alberta. Trials included seeding date, seeding rate x spatial arrangement, fertility, timing of fungicide application and crop tolerance to herbicides. Preliminary results indicate that Prairie Carnation® has considerable potential to be a commercially and agronomically successful crop.
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