15 July 2009

Arunachala Trees

Even though this season has not been rainy, the green cover of Arunachala is very apparent from wherever the Hill is viewed. I took the below photographs while seating on the roof of the Tasty Cafe, a very nice restaurant at the back of Seshadri Ashram.

The number of woody species found on Arunachala is between 150-200. The most plentiful are Satin-wood, Vepaalai, Indian Laburnum, Vengai, Udupai, Vitex altissima (peacock's foot), Strychnos potatorum (clearing-nut), Rose-wood, Deccania Pubescence and some of the local Acacia varieties. We find Soap-nut, Amla and Ebony along with five other species of Diospyros.

From the rocks sprout Ficus varieties, and higher up there are patches of Terminalias Paniculata and Tomentosa. In sheltered pockets of valleys and near the top, where it is cooler and there is more dew-fall, evergreens such as Cassine Glauca, Drypetes, Lepisanthes Tetraphilla, Memecylon and Pamburus (a type of wild orange) are more common, while on the most exposed and degraded slopes Sterculia, Givottia, Commiphora and even the endangered Hildegardia can be found.

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