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Updated: June 16, 2014 20:25 IST

Rosewood marvel

R. KRISHNAMURTHY
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Three men measure the giant rosewood tree in Yaanaipalam.
Three men measure the giant rosewood tree in Yaanaipalam.

Rosewood trees are special and hence covered by a special Act to protect them.One tree in Yaanaipallam, Tamil Nadu, stands tall among others. Read on, to find out why.

Visitors to sanctuaries and national parks spend considerable amount of time looking for animals rather than observing the flora that beautify the landscape. That the landscape is a veritable botanical paradise containing a treasure of gene pool is forgotten. In fact, the animal life is sustained by plant life and vice versa. A person observing the flora is sure to be presented with an interesting spectacle of herbs, shrubs and trees. Among the trees, the most exclusive are the timber species such as Rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia), Teak (Tectona grandis), Ven teak (Lagerstromea lanciolata), Pillamarudu (Terminalia paniculata), Karimarudu (T. tomentosa), Manja kadambai (Adina cardifolia), Irumbakam (Hopea parviflora), Thadasu (Grevia tilifolia) and Neer Marudu(Terminalia arjuna).

Botanical delight

Of these, rosewood is endowed with humus-rich soil. It grows at a slow pace and attains a height of 20 metres and a moderate girth of 200 centimetres over three to four decades. Unlike its counterpart Dalbergia sissoo, it grows straight and branches only at the crown. It is an expensive tree and because of this a special Act called the Tamil Nadu Rosewood Trees (Conservation) Act was passed in 1995 and its validity was extended till 2010.

Rosewood puts forth a luxuriant growth in Topslip, Anaimalais , Mudumalai and Gudalur in the Nilgiris, Kanyakumari, Talaimalai and Athikadavu of the Nilgiris bio-sphere of Tamil Nadu. It can be found in fairly larger numbers.

At Yaanaipallam in Tamil Nadu one can see this gigantic rosewood tree. It takes three men with outstretched arms to cover the girth of the tree.

In its vicinity there are a number of rosewood trees vying with one another for fantastic growth. Though their growth rate is impressive, one cannot compare them to the gigantic tree. Such rare specimens are not only a source of immeasurable delight, but also draw attention toward their preservation.

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