- For farmers frustrated by the vagaries of monsoon, Tamil Nadu’s State flower, Gloriosa superba is a gold mine waiting to be exploited.
- The plant, which contains 24 types of alkaloids (nitrogenous organic compounds) and 10 non-alkaloidal medicinal compounds, is widely used in native medicinal compositions and in the treatment of gout and as a pain killer in allopathic medicine. Its cultivation, though confined to a few pockets in Tamil Nadu, has started to spread in the recent years.
- The cultivation of Gloriosa superba by farmers is an interesting story. T. P. Rajendran, a farmer from Sivakasi, who stumbled upon a tuber in his farm in 1970, about which he was clueless, sent it to the Tropical Products Institute, London, for analysis.
- There it was confirmed that this was a plant whose extract was used by the pharmaceutical industry.