Diverse Variety of Vegetation
Indias treasures of flora and fauna are fast
dwindling, and if measures are not taken to check
deforestation, it wont be long before barren stretches
The Himalayan belt is a botanists delight. The thick
tropical forests in the eastern region of India are in
sharp contrast to the pine and coniferous woodlands of
the western Himalayas.
Natural cover varies with altitude; evergreen forests
with mainly high alpine meadows nearer the snowline
have more of temperate forests in the lower
The chir pine (Pinus roxburghii) grows throughout the
northwest Himalayas, with the exception of Kashmir.
Chilgoza (pine nut), oak, maple, ash (Fraxinus
xanthoxyloides) grow abundantly in the Inner
The rain-soaked foothills are covered with deciduous
trees, shrubs, fern and grass. The Brahmaputra Valley
also wears patches of tea plantations and
fluorescent-green rice fields, while mulberry trees on
which tussar silk worms are bred, abound on the
Rain Forest of Southern India
The most luxuriant rain forests, however, lie on the
southwestern coast, in Kerala where the lagoons are
canopied by coconut trees, leading to the longest
uninterrupted stretch of rain forests in the country.
The andaman Islands and Arunachal Pradesh are other
regions with well preserved rain forests.
Dense sandal, teak and sisoo (Dalbergia sissoo)
forests, where elephants roam wild and free, flourish
on the wet Karnataka plateau. Nudging this is the dry
Telengana plateau in Andhra Pradesh, which offers only
thorny scrub and wild Indian date palm.
The Desert Region
The Thar Desert presents a very different picture. The
trees are short and stout, stunted by the scorching
sun. Apart from cacti, there are the reunjha (Acacia
leucophloea), khejra (Prosopis spicigera), kanju (Holoptelia
integrifolia) and ak (Calotropis gigantea).
Tropical moist deciduous forests that cover most of
the heartland are interspersed with tropical dry
deciduous trees. The species include sal (Shorea
robusta), teak (Tectona grandis), semul (Bombax ceiba),
laurel, rosewood, mahua (Madhuca indica), amla (Emblica
officinalis), khair (Acacia catechu), common bamboo,
to name just a few.