Friday, March 13, 2009

A ride in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas II

The only picture I took of a plant during this trip... The Chir or Imodi Pine, which is named, in Latin (Pinus roxburghii), after William Roxburgh (1751-1815) who served as a surgeon in the East India Company and is considered as the father of botanical studies in India. He later (1793-1814) was superintendent of Calcutta Botanic Garden (the oldest and largest in South Asia), which holds a 400 years old Banyan tree (Ficus bengalensis) covering 1.5 ha. This pine is known as "Salli" in the local dialect of the Jhaunsar region of Uttrakhand. And the locals use the red bark plates to carve lids for vessels or to fuel the blacksmith's furnaces. The fallen dried needles serve as bedding for the cattle and the hand brooms seen in the dhabas are made of the green needles. Locals use the cones as domestic fuel. I saw it everywhere in the hills flanking the Himalayas. If you are interested in more Indian trees, get Kothari, A.S. A Celebration of Indian Trees. (ISBN 81-85026-83-1)

No comments:

Post a Comment