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Many people grow irga, but not everyone knows about all its beneficial properties. At best, they enjoy a tasty berry, known for the fact that in many cases it was the only dessert for children of war. But this far from exhausts the potential of the colorful shrub. What benefits can it bring, how to grow it, which varieties to prefer? This will be discussed further.
The genus Irga (Amelanchier ovalis) belongs to the family Rosaceae. A plant with more than two dozen species grows everywhere in our hemisphere. Irga is not demanding on soil and plenty of moisture, some of its varieties tolerate even forty-degree frosts.
Usually, irgi grows up to two and a half meters in height, capturing more and more new territories with rhizomes with surface shoots. Its like felt-covered leaves in the fall become bright red, yellow and even burgundy. The flowers collected in small brushes have a creamy tint, and wonderful honey is obtained from their nectar. Small fruits, ripening, change color from red to blue-violet, almost black.
Irga has many names. In England, this is a shrub, useful or June berry, cinnamon (akin to her Russian name). She received her last name for similarity with black grapes. In our country it is also called wine or baby berry. And in the south of France it is known as the "honey-bringing". In America, her name sounds - Saskatoon.
Irga is rich:
- tannins and dyes;
- vitamins P, C, B, carotene, trace elements, overtaking grapes by saturation with vitamin C;
- fiber, pectins;
- it contains more than 10% sugars.
Its fruits are used:
- to improve digestion, strengthen the intestines;
- with vitamin deficiency;
- with cardiovascular diseases;
- its freshly prepared juice is successfully used to treat throat with sore throat, as a dietary remedy. It helps older people strengthen vessels and prevent heart attack and varicose veins. It also contributes to better sleep in its frustration.
Infusions of flowers normalize blood pressure, help fight heart weakness.
Leaves due to their astringent properties in the form of infusions are used for diarrhea, pancreatitis, and in addition, they accelerate the healing of wounds.
The bark of the plant, rich in tannins, is also used. A decoction of the bark heals sore throat, burns and wounds. It is also used for gastrointestinal diseases.
Features of the preparation of juice from the fruit of the berry
Irgi juice is a useful dietary product, but it is not squeezed out of freshly picked fruits. The fruits are stored for several days in a dry place, sprinkling them with a small layer on paper, and then squeezed. 30% sugar is put in the squeezed product, heating it until it is completely dissolved.
Berries are not rich in acids and have a sweet taste. Therefore, citric acid and (or) other more acidic juices, for example, red or black currants, some varieties of apples, are added to juice made from berries of irgi. Then the resulting product is sealed and placed in the cold.
Landing and care
One-two-year-old shrub saplings in autumn or spring are placed in the prepared deep (up to half a meter) furrows with a “checkerboard” with a meter interval between them. For planting, it is better to choose sunny places with loose, rich in organic soil. Plants are well watered, mulched with humus or peat. At the same time, no more than 10 cm of a trunk with 4-5 developed kidneys is left above the ground.
It is also necessary to trim long or weak branches in a timely manner. It is better that there are few such shoots - 2-3 on one trunk.
A three-year bush should have up to one and a half dozen branches, for this weak, damaged shoots are removed. The plant is responsive to periodic anti-aging pruning.
Propagating seedlings of seeds, they should be sown in fertilized beds, watering abundantly. Annual bushes are transplanted to a permanent place.
Propagation of varieties is carried out by their grafting by cuttings. Rowan two-year-olds serve as a stock.
From the whole variety of varieties of irgi, the most promising, which can be used as a picturesque hedge and because of delicious fruits, are the following types:
The shrub, which grows to 4 meters, has a bright yellow color in the fall. Its fruits are quite large and sweet. From one bush receive 10 kg of berries.
Reaches 8 m. Has pink, bright red or purple leaves, acquiring autumn copper or orange color. The fruits of this variety of shrub are smaller than the previous berries, but very tasty, and the flowers are particularly beautiful. The bush gives 6 kg of fruit.
Irga blood red
Not a very tall shrub, with an average yield, its almost black small berries have a very pleasant taste and aroma. Foliage changes color from bright green to orange.
A high-yielding plant with very beautiful flowers and elegant foliage. And the berries of this variety are very juicy and sweet. The plant does not require laborious care.
Enumerated, washed berries blanch a couple of minutes. Then they are poured 60% with hot syrup, bringing to a boil over low heat. Half a day dessert is insisted, then it is added with 1 g of citric acid for every liter of jam. For 1 kg of berries you need less than a pound of sugar. You can add a little more black or red currants.
Compote of berry berries with red or black currant
For its preparation, take 2 parts of the fruit of the berry and 1 part of other berries. Washed and canned berries pour 50% syrup. The filled containers in a pot of water are brought to a boil and left for another 5 minutes, and then rolled up.
The washed berries are placed in boiling water for a couple of minutes, allowed to drain, wiped through a sieve or ground. Then an equal amount of sugar is added, mixed and allowed to cool. The finished product is laid out in jars and, covered with thick paper, stored in a cold place.
The berries are also dried, dried, while receiving an excellent substitute for raisins.
Wine, baby berry, cinnamon - a wonderful plant with a decorative purpose, used in medicine, dietetics and cooking. It is easy to breed on a personal plot. Irga is unpretentious, frost-resistant, has beautiful leaves, fragrant flowers and delicious berries. For treatment use all parts of the bush (except the roots). Vitamin juice, jams, mashed potatoes, and jam are made from its fruits, which serve as a delicious filling for baking and are an independent wonderful dessert.