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Nourishing Deciduous Biodiversity

Contributed by Gunavant M. Oza and Tvisha M. Pandya, The Foundation for Environmental Awareness, Oza Building, Salatwada Baroda 390001 India. Department of Botany, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Baroda 390 002 India

Our common indigenous wild trees possess flamboyant foliage and handsome flowers, yet they are not given priority in parks, gardens, avenues, urban streets, human habitations and industrial estates. Greedy people from the urban environment have invaded our deciduous forests and plundered our biodiversity. Humankind has often missed the opportunity to behold the beauty of nature.

With a view to encouraging appreciation of the wealth of the last remnants of our deciduous floristic elements, now is the time to nourish deciduous biodiversity in vast areas of the Indian subcontinent. Some other tree species with a very wide geographical range may not be indigenous, but they have nicely adapted to Indian conditions and are rated as naturalised.

This presentation is an attempt to typify harmonious relationship between people and nature. We are committed to the Convention on Biodiversity (1992) and have an obligation to conserve our biodiversity.

We wish to highlight some of the most conspicuous flowering plant species observed in our field studies in the Panchmahals (western India), during different months over a period of three years (Pandya and Oza 1998). Inculcating biodiversity events of the year (a flowering calendar), in our lifestyle, we shall serve the cause of Indian philosophy and culture, and thereby promote the protection of the disappearing deciduous trees. Such trees in our environment shall signify monumental sanctuaries attracting a great diversity of birds to lend music and colour at our doorstep. Hence, the authors appeal to the legion of nature lovers to bestow utmost priority in afforestation endeavours, both in the wild and urban environments, to the following species:

Original homes of the plant species are given in parentheses, followed by local names in Gujarati.

January

  • Ailanthes excelsa (India) Moto arduso;
  • Buchanania lanzan (India) Charoli;
  • Ehretia laevis (As. and Aus. trop.) Tamburiyo;
  • Phoenix sylvestris (India) Khajuri;
  • Streblus asper (As. trop.) Harero, Kharoti.

February

  • Alangium salvifolium (As. trop.) Ankol;
  • Boswellia serrata (India ) Gugal;
  • Butea monosperma (Indo malaysia) Khakhro, Khakhar;
  • Cochlospermum religiosum (India) Ganyari;
  • Firmiana colorata (India) Kodar, Paroli;
  • Garuga pinnata (India) Sota kankadio;
  • Holoptelea integrifolia (India) Oro, Charal;
  • Lannea coromandelica (India, Burma) Moino;
  • Spondias pinnata (As. trop.) Khatimbo, Khatumbdo.

March

  • Artocarpus gomezianus (India) Khatumbi;
  • Bauhinia racemosa (Malay, China) Asatri, Asitro;
  • Bombax ceiba (Am. Aus.) Shimdo;
  • Borassus flabellifer (India) Taad;
  • Emblica officinalis (As. trop.) Aamri, Amala;
  • Erythrina suberosa (India) Karvinchlo;
  • Gmelina arborea (India, Malaya) Shivan, Shevan;
  • Madhuca longifolia (India) Mahudo;
  • Schleichera oleosa (India, Malaya) Kosimb; Sterculia urens (India) Kadai, Kadayo;
  • Tecomella undulata (India) Ragat rohido;
  • Wrightia tinctoria (India) Kado.

April

  • Aegle marmelos (India) Bili;
  • Cassia fistula (As. trop.) Garmalo;
  • Crataeva nurvala (Trop.) Vayvarno, Doyali;
  • Dillenia pentagyna (India) Gadh saag;
  • Dolichandrone falcata var. lawii (India) Netarshindi;
  • Holarrhena antidysenterica (As. trop.) Indrajav; Miliusa tomentosa (India);
  • Soymida fabrifuga (India) Rohido;
  • Syzygium cumini (India) Jambu.

May

  • Albizia odorratissima (India) Sarasdi, Chicholio;
  • Anogeissus latifolia (India) Dhaodo;
  • Dalbergia latifolia (India) Shisham;
  • Diospyros melanoxylon (India) Timbru, Timbervo;
  • Ficus benghalensis (India) Vad;
  • Ficus racemosa (India) Umbar, Gular;
  • Ficus religiosa (India) Pipdo;
  • Lagerstroemia parviflora (India) Kankadio, Bondaro;
  • Morinda tomentosa (India, Malaya) Aledi;
  • Pongamia pinnata (As. trop., Aus., Ins. Pac.) Karanj, Kanaji;
  • Schrebera swietenioides (India, Burma) Mokho;
  • Terminalia bellirica (India, Malaya) Behedo.

June

  • Haldinia cordifolia (India) Kalam, Haldarvo;
  • Mitragyna parvifolia (Reg.Himal.) Karmi, Karam;
  • Pterocarpus marsuptium (India) Biyo;
  • Zizyphus mauritiana (India, Malaya) Bor.

July

  • Acacia chundra (India ) Khair;
  • Albizia lebbeck (Geront. trop.) Siris, Siras;
  • Ehretia laevis (As. and Aus. trop.) Tamburiyo;
  • Hymenodictyon orixense (India, Malaya) Dundro, Bhamarchhal;
  • Oroxylum indicum (As. trop) Tetu.

August

  • Bridelia squamosa (India) Akalkanto;
  • Kirganelia reticulata (Geront. trop.) Kamboi;
  • Kydia calycina (India) Warang;
  • Nyctanthes arbor-tristis (India) Parijat, Chhari;
  • Tectona grandis (India, Burma) Saag.

September

  • Careya arborea (India) Kumbi;
  • Zizyphus oenoplia (India, Malaya) Bor.

October

  • Gardenia resinifera (India, Burma) Dikamali, Jangli Champo;
  • Mallotus phillippensis (As. and Aus. trop.) Kampilo, Kankur Oro;
  • Trema orientalis (Geront. trop.) Ghol, Vanjhli.

November

  • Delonia elata (Afr. trop.) Sandesro;
  • Grewia tiliaefolia (As. and Aus. trop.) Dhaman;
  • Manilkara hexandra (India) Rayan;
  • Ougeinia oojeinensis (India) Tanach.

December

  • Azadirachta indica (India) Kadvo limbdo;
  • Mangifera indica (India; Malaya) Ambo.

References

Pandya, Tvisha M. and Oza, Gunavant M. ( 1998) Bioregion Common Property Resource Management Studies. International Society of Naturalists (INSONA), Vadodara, India.