Dr. H. Santapau
that is here presented to the public owes its inspiration to a request by Shri J. John, the Editor of
of Bombay, who pressed me to contribute a series of articles of a popular nature on some of the trees of Bombay. This was done, the first number appearing in May, 1958; the last number in the series came out in November, 1960,after which the journal itself was discontinued in favour of another journal in the regional language.In the introductory note to the first article of the series, the Editor stated: “This is the first of a series of short notes andillustrations, which we intend publishing from time to time. We shall select trees or climbers, which on account of their showyflowers and foliage deserve a place in gardens and avenues...This series, it is hoped, would encourage both the S(tate)T(ransport) personnel and the general travelling public to a greater appreciation of the beauties of nature.”Most of the articles of the Bombay series are reproduced in these pages suitably adapted; a few climbers and shrubs have been left out. On the other hand, a fairly good number of new trees have been added to this book. In general, only such treeshave been included as may be seen planted along the streets of our towns or along the roads of the country; trees found onlyin gardens or in the forest have on purpose been omitted.This book is not meant for professional botanists or foresters; it is intended to give our educated public some informationon the commoner roadside or avenue trees of peninsular India. Technical terms have been reduced to the minimum and theyhave been fully explained. In the selection of details, I have tried to pick up those that in my opinion have been found of interestto our reading public. Most of the trees discussed here are indigenous to some art or other of India; only a few exotics have been taken up. They are trees that have become so common all over the country and have adapted themselves so well toIndian conditions that they maybe considered if not indigenous, at least fully naturalized.The original series was written for a Bombay journal and for the Bombay public; for this reason efforts were made to giveinformation that was considered of particular interest to the people of Bombay. In the present book the range of details has been extended to cover most of India south of the Himalayas.Some friends, who have seen the MS. of the book, have asked me to explain the reason, if any, for the inclusion of sometrees and rejection of others; there seem to be some indigenous trees that are by any standard much more showy andattractive than some of those listed here. I may honestly confess that no philosophical reason has guided me in my choice of subject. For many years I have been moving about India looking at our trees; some have caught my fancy, and here they arein this book. Or some friend may have called my attention to some striking trees and asked for details; such trees are alsoincluded. In general I have taken up trees found only in peninsular India away from the Himalayas or from the more remote parts of Assam, that is to say, trees with which our public may be expected to be more or less familiar.One word about the illustrations. All the colour blocks, with the exception of
have been prepared from originalwatercolour paintings by A.K. Gohel, who executed his work in Bombay under a scheme financed by the Council of Scientific& Industrial Research, New Delhi.
is based on a water-colour painting by R.A. Eklund of Purandhar, now of Finland.The half-tone illustrations have been taken with permission from the book,
The Palms of British India and Ceylon
by E.Blatter, published by Oxford University Press. The line diagrams, with the exception
of figures 1
and 7 have been especiallydrawn for the book by Shri D.P. Deb, an artist of the Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta.
has been based on a photograph by the author.
has been based on a photograph by Dr. T. A. Rao of the Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta. My sinceregratitude goes to all the artists and to Oxford University Press.I take this opportunity to acknowledge my great indebtedness to Shri J. John, the Editor, and the State Transport authoritiesof Bombay, with whose permission the original series published under the name
Know Your Trees
is here reproduced; myindebtedness is all the greater for the fact that they have allowed me the use of many of their own colour blocks, and in thisway have reduced the cost of this publication. I also express my gratitude to Shri K. S. Srinivasan, Dy. Director, BotanicalSurvey of India, who has helped in the preparation of the line illustrations.