Yellow Butea graces Adilabad with its presence

A rare treat: The yellow palash tree spotted in Adilabad district on Friday.

A rare treat: The yellow palash tree spotted in Adilabad district on Friday.  


Botanists plan genetic studies on the rare tree

Spotting of a rare palash or moduga tree with yellow flowers, the Butea Monosperma (variety) Lutea, has once again put the spotlight on the famed biodiversity of the erstwhile Adilabad district now split into Adilabad, Kumram Bheem Asifabad, Mancherial and Nirmal districts. Thanks to the significant ‘discovery’ of three trees, between Maruguda and Dattaguda in Bela mandal, near Kuchulapur in Talamadugu mandal and the third one reportedly at Sirpur forest in K.B. Asifabad district, botanists are planning genetic studies on the rare tree about which not much is known.

“The Butea Monosperma (variety) Lutea, also known as Tella Moduga locally, is endemic to Deccan plateau of India with a population of less than 100,” said E.N. Murthy, assistant professor, Botany Department, Satavahana University at Karimnagar. “The variety has been reported from Aurangabad in Maharashtra, former undivided Karimnagar, Nizamabad and Warangal districts,” said the academician who has conducted research on the rare tree.

According to a paper co-authored by Dr. Murthy and published in the International Journal of Multidisciplinary and Current Research in April 2014, the variety of tree has not yet been incorporated into the Red Data book in Telangana or included in the Red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

“This is a rare and endangered variety of Butea and hence the government needs to put it in the Red Data list so that it gets protection,” opined the author who was part of the experts’ team that recommended such a move to the government.

The yellow palash tree is considered a new plant that is in the process of evolution and has so far not been granted the independent sub-species status by scientists. Its population is not being established as it’s difficult to propagate.

“The deciduous variety of Tella Moduga or white Moduga (termed so as its buds are white) has high medicinal and commercial value. The stem bark extract is used to treat leucorrhoea, jaundice and skin diseases and the seeds are used to treat inflammation, bleeding piles, kidney stones etc,” the botanist added, quoting from another research paper which he co-authored that was published in the prestigious Journal of Applied Research on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in 2016.

“We are now proposing to start genetical studies on the three varieties of Butea, Butea Monosperma, Butea Superba and the one in question. On its part, the government too should take note and initiate measures to protect the trees as there is a perceived danger from firewood gatherers,” Dr. Murthy cautioned.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 10:00:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/yellow-butea-graces-adilabad-with-its-presence/article22911484.ece

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