Chennai

WCC flora documented in book

(Left) Former Principal of WCC Rita Jacob Cherian, MSSRF Chairman M.S. Swaminathan, Principal of WCC Ridling M. Waller and Assistant Professor of Department of Plant Biology Pauline Deborah at the launch of a book in the college, in Chennai on Monday. Photo: S.S. Kumar  

Whether it is spending time under the shade of the ‘rusty shield bearer' tree or waiting to see the ‘shady brush' tree blossom into purple flowers, students of Women's Christian College have something more to cherish about the rich flora in the campus. The name, origin and significance of the different species of plants found on the sprawling campus of WCC on College Road are documented in a book now.

Two faculty members of the college – Pauline Deborah and Ridling M. Waller – have authored the book, which gives a descriptive catalogue of 105 tree species in the campus, along with photographs.

‘The Green Grandeur of Women's Christian College' was released by M.S. Swaminathan, Chairman of M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, at a function here on Monday. The first copy of the book was received by Rita Jacob Cherian, former Principal, WCC. Talking about “nature deficit disorder,” which is lack of association with the environment, Professor Swaminathan said that when one is in harmony with the nature, one is in harmony with the whole self. “The college is a botanical garden and this book must spread multiple messages,” he said. Lauding the effort of the authors, he asked the students to enjoy the trees in the campus and contribute to mitigation of climate change. Ridling M. Waller, who is also the Principal of the college, said though the idea to bring out a book was conceived several years ago, owing to paucity of funds it was postponed. “It's not just another book on trees. The book gives scientific information of trees as well as talks about the origin and cultural significance of different flora,” she said. The proceeds collected through the sale of the book will go to institute a prize for a second-year student.

Pauline Deborah, Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Biology, WCC, said the whole exercise started as a personal hobby and culminated into an adventure. The campus has more exotic varieties than indigenous, a majority of them native to Mexico, Africa, tropical America and Australia. “We are planning a tree census on the campus next,” she said.

The book, published by Macmillan Indian Limited, has been brought with the financial assistance of United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia and Standard Chartered – Scope International.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 10:27:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/WCC-flora-documented-in-book/article15912618.ece

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