Genotype Effect on Proximate and Mineral Analysis of Safflower as a Green Leafy Vegetable

  •  Onkgolotse G. Moatshe    
  •  Vallantino E. Emongor    
  •  Patrick K. Mashiqa    


Two field trials were carried out at the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources Content Farm (59o24′S, 95o25′E and 993 m above sea level) in Southern Region of Botswana, to evaluate the effects of genotypes on proximate and mineral composition of safflower leaves. Five safflower genotypes (Kiama composite (local), Sina-PI-537598, Gila-PI-537692, PI-537636 and PI-527710) were evaluated in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications. During the rosette stage safflower leaves (both petiole and blade) were harvested, dried, and ground for analysis. The results showed that safflower genotypes significantly varied in the leaf proximate content of crude protein (24-28%), crude fibre (8-14%), moisture content (86-87%) and dry matter content (13-14%) in both winter and summer growing seasons. The genotype ‘Sina’ had the highest crude fibre content compared to other genotypes. The average leaf mineral content significantly (p < 0.05) varied from 2-3 mg g-1 phosphorus, 3-4 mg g-1 calcium, 5-6 mg g-1 sodium, 15-17 mg g-1 magnesium and 15-18 mg g-1 potassium. The Na:K and Ca:P ratios ranged between 0.18 and 3.41. All the safflower genotypes evaluated had sufficient nutritional content to be used as a green leafy vegetable for human consumption and food security.

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