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Updated: May 18, 2013 16:03 IST

Bryant Park is home to 5 exotic plants, say officials

Staff Reporter
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Exotic tree species-blue gum tree at Bryant Park in Kodaikanal
The Hindu
Exotic tree species-blue gum tree at Bryant Park in Kodaikanal

Some of the trees have been here for over half a century

Five exotic plant species — camphor tree, silver maple, creeping juniper, alnus tress and blue gum — have been identified in the Bryant Park here.

Briefing reporters here recently, Deputy Director of Horticulture S.Raja Mohamed said Assistant Directors of Horticulture T.Chinnaraj, M.Pandi, K.Srinivasan and K.Thirumal started identifying the trees in the park, and spotted these exotic species.

Camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora) was an evergreen tree growing up to 20-30 metres. Its leaves had a glossy, waxy appearance and smelt of camphor when crushed. The tree was indigenous to China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Brought from China, this tree had been in the park for the past 75 years. Mr.Mohamed said the silver maple tree (Acer saccharinum), brought from Japan, had been here for the past 60 years. In many parts of the eastern US, maple’s large, rounded buds were one of the primary sources of food for squirrels in the spring.

Its seeds were also consumed by squirrels, chipmunks and birds, and the wood was used for making paper and furniture. The Deputy Director said the creeping juniper or creeping cedar tree (Juniperus horizontalis) was a low-growing shrubby juniper, native to North America. The tree was brought to the park from Japan 35 years ago. It could be used to provide shade, control erosion and for mass planting.

Alnes tress or alder tree (Alnus nepalensis), found in the subtropical highlands of the Himalayas, grew quickly in wet area, and it was adaptable to various soil types. The tree found in the park was six decades old, he added.

He noted that the southern blue gum or blue gum tree (Eucalyptus globulus) was one of the most widely cultivated trees in Australia. Reaching a height of up to 55 metres, the tree could be used in construction. Its flowers were a good source of nectar. The one in the park had been here for 50 years.


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