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Neem:: Azadirachta Indica

July 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Kingdom : Plantae,  Division Magnoliophyta , Class: Magnoliopsida . , Order : Sapindales Family : Meliaceae,  Genus : Azadirachta , , Species : A. indica Scientific Name : Azadirachta indica

Other names : It is popularly known as the miracle tree. It is known as Nimba in India. The Sanskrit name of Neem is Arishtha meaning the reliever of the sickness. Margosa tree

Description : It is a tall evergreen tree with the small bright green leaves. It is up to 100 feet tall. It blossoms in spring with the small white flowers. It has a straight trunk. Its bark is hard rough and scaly, fissured even in small trees. The colour of the bark is brown grayish. The leaves are alternate and consists of several leaflets with serrated edges. Its flowers are small and white in colour. The loive like edible fruit is oval, round and thin skinned.

Other Species : A. juss, A. azedarac are the other related species of Neem tree. A. juss, A. azedarac are the other related species of Neem tree. A. juss, A. azedarac are the other related species of Neem tree.

Location : Neem tree is found throughout India. It is a popular village tree. Although it is also widely grown in Ranthambore National Park, Bandhavgarh national Park, Mrugavani Naional Park, Bannerghata National Park, Sariska Wildlife Sanctuaryand Guindy National Park.

Cultivation : Neem tree can easily be grown in the dry, stony, shallow and clayey soils. It needs very little water and plenty of sunlight. It grows slowly during the first year of planting. It can be propagated through the seeds and cuttings. Young neem tree can not tolerate excessive cold.

Medicinal uses : The indigenous people of Nilgiris consume the dried and powered tubulers of the terrestrial orchids as an energizing tonic. Neem also holds medicinal value. Each part of neem is used in the medicines. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicines for more than 4000 years. Neem oil extracted from its seeds is used in medicines, pest control and cosmetics etc. Its leaves are used in the treat Chickenpox.. According to the Hindus, it is believed that the Goddess of the chickenpox, Sithala lives in the Neem tree. Neem tea is usually taken to reduce the headache and fever. Its flowers are used to cure intestinal problems. Neem bark acts as an analgesic and can cure high fever as of malaria. Even the skin diseases can be cured from the Neem leaves. Indians even believe that the Neem can even purify diseases.

Other uses : People in India use its twigs to brush their teeth. Neem is considered as the useful tree in rehabilitating the waste land areas. Neem seed pulp is useful for methane gas production. It is also useful as carbohydrate which is rich base for other industrial fermentations. Neem bark contains tannins which are used in tanning and dyeing. In south India its wood is used to make the furniture. The bark of the yields the fiber that is woven into ropes. Neem cake is widely used in India as fertilizer for sugarcane, vegetable and other cash crops. Many countries have been consistently growing the Neem tree against the global warming. The worldwide Neem Foundation has helped in making the people aware about the importance of neem and its uses globally.

Cultural Importance : One can find Neem in almost all the parts of India. It is said that planting Neem tree in the house is a ensured passage to heaven. Its leaves are stung on the main entrance to remain away from the evil spirits. Brides take bath in the water filled with the Neem leaves. Newly born babies are laid upon the Neem leaves to provide them with the protective aura. Neem gives out more oxygen than other trees. The neem tree is also connected with the Sun, in the story of Neembark ‘The Sun in the Neem tree’. Neem is the wonder tree and finds mention in the number of ancient texts.

Peepal Tree:: Ficus Religiosa

July 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Kingdom : Plantae, Division Magnoliophyta ,Class: Magnoliopsida ,Order : Rosales, Family : Moraceae ,Genus : Ficus ,Species : F. religiosa Scientific Name : Ficus religiosa

Other names : Bo tree, Bodhi tree, Sacred tree, Beepul tree, Pipers, Pimpal, Jari, Arani,Ashvattha, Ragi, Bodhidruma, Shuchidruma, Pipalla, Ashvattha and the Buddha tree are the other names used for the Banyan tree.

Description : Peepal is a large, fast growing deciduous tree. It has a heart shaped leaves. It is a medium size tree and has a large crown with the wonderful wide spreading branches. It shed its leaves in the month of March and April. The fruits of the Peepal are hidden with the figs. The figs are ripen in the month of May. The figs which contain the flowers grow in pairs just below the leaves and look like the berries. Its bark is light gray and peels in patches. Its fruit is purple in colour. It is one of the longest living trees.

Other Species : Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam, Artocarpus incissus L., Artocarpus nobilis Thw. Are some of the other species of the Peepal tree.

Location : Peepal tree is grown throughout India. It is mainly grown in State of Haryana, Bihar, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh. It is also found in the Ranthambore National Park in India.

Cultivation : Peepal tree is easily propagated through the seeds or through the cuttings. It can grow in any type of soil. Young peepal needs proper nourishment. It requires full sunlight and proper watering.

Medicinal uses : This tree of life has also got the medicinal value. The juice of its leaves extracted by holding them near the fire can be used as the ear drop. Its power bark has been used to heal the wounds for years. The bark of the tree is useful in inflammations and glandular swelling of the neck. Its root bark is useful for stomatitis, clean ulcers, and promotes granulations. Its roots are also good for gout. The roots are even chewed to prevent gum diseases. Its fruit is laxative which promotes digestion and checks vomiting. Its ripe fruits are good for the foul taste, thirst and heart diseases. The powered fruit is taken for Asthma. Its seeds have proved useful in urinary troubles. The leaves are used to treat constipation.

Other uses : People in India collect the Peepal leaves, clean them, dry them and than paint them with the gold acrylic in order to preserve them for years. From the bark of the Peepal tree reddish dye is extracted. Its leaves are used to feed the camels and the elephants. When the leaves are dried they are used for the decoration purpose.

Cultural importance : Peepal tree has the great importance in India especially among the Buddhist who regard Peepal tree as the personification of Buddha. Lord Buddha attained enlightenment mediating under the Peepal tree. It is regarded as the sacred tree and the people uses its leaves for the religious purposes. According to the Buddha – ‘He who worships the Peepal tree will receive the same reward as if he worshiped me in person’. The Peepal tree has its own symbolic meaning of Enlightenment and peace. People tie threads of white, red and yellow silk around it to pray for progeny and rewarding parenthood. Hindus in India holds the great spiritual regard for the Peepal Tree, they regard it as the tree beneath which Vishnu was born.

Banayan Tree:: Ficus Benghalensis::

July 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Kingdom : Plantae, Division Magnoliophyta , Class: Magnoliopsida,  Order : Urticales,  Family : Moraceae , Genus : Ficus . Zoological name : Ficus Benghalensis

Found In : Ranthambore National Park and Corbett National Park

Other names : Bargad, Bor, Ber, Ala and Pedda mari, Nayagrodha, Ala mara, Bar, Vad, Vatnam, Bahupada, Peddamarri, Al are the other names used for the Banyan tree. Indians call it a wish fulfilling tree.

Description : Banyan tree is a huge tree with very extensive branches. It is said that at one time more than 10, 000 people can sit under its shade at one time. It is a evergreen tree. It branches spread out and send trunk like roots to the ground in order to support itself. It grows to a height of more than 21 meters and lives for many years. The leaves are 10 -20 cm long and has many aerial roots. The leaves are broad, oval and glossy. White milky fluid oozes out of leaves, if broken. It can grow in to the gaint tree covering several hectares.

Other Species : F. aurea, F. benghalensis, F. citrifolia, F. macrophylla, F. microcarpa, F.pertusa, F. rubiginosa are the other related species of the Banyan tree.

Location : Found in almost all the parts of India, Banyan tree is the National tree of India. It is grown throughout the sub- Himalayan region and in the deciduous forests. One can Banyan Tree in the Botanical Garden of Calcutta. They are widely grown in the Ranthambore National Park and Corbett National Park in India.

Cultivation methods :Banyan tree is easily propagated by root tip cuttings or the eye cuttings. Cut apiece of the stem about half a inch below and above the leaf. Insert the stem piece and a little of the leaf stalk into the rooting medium. To reduce evaporation from the leaf surface, you can roll the leaf and secure with a rubber band. In a couple weeks roots and a new shoot will start developing. It can grow in any type of soil.

Cultural importance : Banyan tree is respected and is considered as sacred by the people in India. In the sacred Hindu Book ‘Bhagwad Gita’ Lord Krishna has sung praises on the Banyan tree. People in India grow Banyan tree closer to the Peepal tree. As Banyan tree is considered as the male plant closely related to the Peepal tree. It symbolize Trimurti with Vishnu as the barl, Shiva as the branches and Brahma as the roots. Indians considered Banyan tree as ‘Kalpa Vriksha’ the tree that fulfill all your wishes.The mighty Banyan Tree is considered as immortal and has always been the focal point for the village communities in India. It is probably the biggest and friendliest of all trees. Banyan tree is the tree of knowledge and tree of life.