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Pterocarpus marsupium (Vengai in Tamil) with a girth of 4.72 m, height of 26 m and

assessed to be about 200 years found near Chinnar forest checkpost of Boluvampatty Range
in Coimbatore district

This belongs to the family Lotoideae. A large deciduous tree found in deciduous forests up
to 1370 metres. This is the most important timber tree of south India, next to Teak and
Rosewood. The timber is used for making spokes, building, furniture, railway purposes, etc.
The gum resin Kino is blood-red when fresh. It becomes dark-red later and fragments. This
is a valuable astringent. In Siddha medical system, the stem bark, leaf and gum are used for
curing dysentery, leucorrhoea, cough, vomiting, dental diseases, diseases of vatam and skin
diseases. In Ayurveda, the heart-wood, leaf and gum are used for treating leprosy, worm
infestation, wounds, leucoderma and polyuria.

Tamil Nadu is known for many interesting trees remarkable for their spiritual, cultural,
biological and historical values. But no systematic study has been undertaken so far to
identify and prepare a catalogue of these giant and weird trees. In this scenario, a detailed
study has to be undertaken to discover, identify, photograph and document these ancient
living monuments as they are our rich heritage. Besides the study, awareness programmes
have to be conducted among the villagers, school and college students and committees are
to be formed to protect these sacred heritage trees.

Terminalia bellerica (Thani in Tamil), with a girth of 9.04 m and a height of 32 m, assessed to
be about 300 years old at Kallar near Mettupalayam in Coimbatore district

Terminalia bellerica (Thani in Tamil) near Chinnar Forest checkpost in Coimbatore district
with a girth of 8.60 m, height of 21 m and assessed to be about 250 years old

The Trade name is Behera or The Belleric Myrabolan. This is called Thani in Tamil; Thani
in Malayalam; Thani, Thandra or Thadi in Telugu; Santi, Thare or Thani in Kannada
and Bahera in Hindi. This is a large, deciduous tree with straight and tall bole. This is found
with massive crown in deciduous forests up to 910 metres. Though this is a deciduous tree,
it is mostly found growing in Western Ghats areas where there is very good moisture. This is
seen in between Sal forests at the foot hill of Himalayas. This belongs to the family
Combretaceae. The wood is used after immersion in water for house building, packing
cases, etc. The fruit forms one of the myrabolans of commerce. The fruits are used in
tanning, dyeing and making ink. Kernel is edible and the oil obtained is used for hair. The
fruits are a favourite food of monkeys, deer, sheep, goats and cattle. Ripe fruits are used as
an astringent in combination with chebulic myrabolan (Terminalia chebula-Kadukkai) and
Emblica officinalis (Nelli) as the famous Triphala drug of Ayurveda. In Siddha, the fruit, leaf
and seed are used for treating guinea worm disease, leucorrhoea, veneral diseases,
hypertension, pox and dyspnoea. In Ayurveda, the fruits are used for treating bronchial
asthma, eye diseases, diseases of throat, oedema, diarrhoea, constipation, worm infestation
and cardiac diseases. This can be grown in areas where the annual rain fall is above 1000
mm. Grown up trees are found to be drought tolerant to a certain extent. This tree can be
grown on tank bunds and along the river banks.

Albizia lebbek (Vagai in Tamil) with a girth of 3.61 m, height of 25 m and assessed to be
about 100 years old found near Chinnar forest checkpost of Boluvampatty Range in
Coimbatire district

This belongs to the family Mimosoideae. The trade name is The Siris, The East Indian
Walnut or Kokko; Vaka in Malayalam; Dirasana or Dirsinam in Telugu; Bage or Kalbaghi in
Kannada and Siris in Hindi. This is a large deciduous tree with wide-spread crown. This grows

rapidly and so can easily be propagated by cuttings. This is planted in avenues and runs wild
all over the State.

This tree flowers in March-April. Flowers are greenish-yellow, in globose heads. Fruiting
appears in September-October. Pods are strap-shaped with straw colour. The fruits remain
on the tree for a considerable length of time rattling with every puff of hot wind, with a
characteristic sound which has been described as that of frying of meat. Because of this, the
tree is sometimes called the Fry tree.

The wood is excellent for interior decoration, panelling, etc. The timber is used for making
sugarcane crushers, oil mills, wheel work, well curbs, building, furniture, etc.

In Siddha medical system, the root, bark, leaf, flower, seed and resin are used for treating
stomatitis, thirst, poisoning, diseases of kapham, leucorrhoea, veneral diseases, bleeding
piles, diarrhoea, dental diseases and leprosy. In Ayurveda, the bark, leaf, flower and seed
are used for treating leprosy, erysipelas, wounds, cough, dyspnoea, antidote for snake-bite,
food and other poisoning.


Former IFS Officer,


Mail id:

Mobile: 9443170366.