Sisal Plant

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A research team at Stanford University has found the absorption capacity of a sisal-based material to be higher than those in commercial menstrual pads.

About Sisal Plant

  • It is a xerophytic, monocarp, semi-perennial leaf fibre producing plant.
  • The leaves are thick, fleshy and often covered with a waxy layer, typical characteristics of xerophytic plants.
  • Its leaves grow up to 2 m long. The lifespan of a sisal plant is about 7-10 years, during which it produces 200-250 usable leaves.
  • Each leaf has about a thousand fibres that can be used to make ropes, paper, and cloth.
  • It could be used to make a highly absorbed material as well.
  • Climatic condition
    • It is well adapted to arid environments as the species is xerophytic in nature.
    • Temperature and Rain: It can withstand a maximum temperature 40-45°C and grows well with evenly distributed rainfall of 60-125 cm.
    • Soil: It thrives best on dry, permeable, sandy-loam soils with a good amount of liming materials (Ca and Mg) but can also grow on various other types of soils.
    • In India it is grown in light calcareous and gravelly soils with good drainage
  • It is well adapted mainly in Odisha, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, part of Bihar, western part of West Bengal and many southern states.
  • It is mainly propagated by vegetative means such as ‘bulbils’ and ‘suckers’.

Q1) What is Vegetative reproduction?

It is any form of asexual reproduction occurring in plants in which a new plant grows from a fragment of the parent plant or grows from a specialized reproductive structure (such as a stolon, rhizome, tuber, corm, or bulb). In many plants, vegetative reproduction is a completely natural process; in others it is an artificial one. 

Source: Could sisal leaves make sanitary napkins more sustainable in India?