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B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) online

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Weight about 45 lbs. per cubic foot. Seasons well, and durable if preserved from
moisture. But felled trees soon decay if left exposed in the forest. Used in Coorg
for buildings ; also used for furniture, carts, and mills.

Mallotus philippinensis ... ... ... ... ... Kunkuma

The powder from the ripe fruit forms the Kamala dye, also known in the south of
India as Kapila. Wood only fit for fuel. Weight 48 ll)s. per cubic foot.

Michelia champaca ... Champac... ... ... Sampige

A favourite tree of Hindu poetry, well known for the fragrance of its blossoms,
which are worn in the hair, etc. Wood soft, seasons and polishes well. Very
durable. Weight about 40 lbs. jier cubic foot. Used for furniture, carriages, etc.

Phyllanthus emblica ... Emblic myrobalan ... Nelli

Wood mottled-reddish, hard and close-grained, warps and splits in seasoning.



72 FLORA

Weight alxjul 50 ll)s. per cubic foot. Remarkaljlc for its dural>ilily under water,
which it also clears of impurities. For this purpose chips of it are thrown into wells
or ponds. The hark is used for tanning. The fruit, resembling a gooseberry, is acid
and astringent. Much used as an article of food, raw, preserved, or pickled.

I'terocarpus marsupium ... Indian kino ... ... Honne

Wood close-grained, reddish-brown, tough, slrc^ng, durable, seasons well, and takes
a good polish. Weight 53 lbs. per cul^ic foot. Makes good furniture, and widely
used for carts, window frames, agricultural implements, etc. Bark yields crimson
gum, the true kino of commerce.

Schleichera Irijuga ... Ceylon oak Sagade, chendala

Wood very hard, strong, durable, and takes a fine polish. Weight about 70 lbs.
per cul)ic foot. Used for pestles, axles, teeth of harrows, screw rollers of mills. In
the Central Provinces lac is produced on this tree, known as kusiima lac, the most
highly prized of all. Bark and oil from the seeds medicinal ; the latter said to be the
original Macassar oil.

Stephegyne parvifolia ... ... ... ... ... Kadaga

Similar to Adina cordifolia, but not used much in the south of India.

Sterculia villosa Shi-anvige

Wood said to be firmly close-grained, suitable for Ijuilding and furniture. Bags
and ropes made of the fibrous l)ark.

Tectona grandis ... ... Teak' ... ... ... Tegu, tyaga

The chief value of this well-known wood arises from its strength, added to its
durability, due probably to the resinous matter in the pores, which resists the action
of water. Weight varies in different localities, but approximately 45 lbs. per cubic
foot when seasoned. Used in India for numerous purposes — construction, ship-
building, sleepers, and furniture ; in Europe for railway carriages, ships, and the
backing of armour plates in ironclads.

Terminalia chebula ... Black myrobalan ... Alale, arale

The fruit is most valuable as a tan. The gall-nuts make excellent ink and dyes.
Wood hard and fairly durable. Weight about 60 lbs. per cubic foot. Used for
furniture, carts, and agricultural implements.

Terminalia paniculata ... ... ... ... . . Huluve, hunal

Timber of middling quality, especially when seasoned in water. Heartwood dark,

hard, and fairly durable. Weight 47 lbs. per cubic foot. Used for the same purposes

as Matti. Also for fuel, planking, and country carts. In the ground is liable to
attacks of white ants.

Terminalia tomentosa ... ... ... ... ... Matti

Wood dark brown, with darker streaks, hard, but not very durable. Weight about
60 lbs. per cubic foot. Good fuel tree ; leaves useful as manure for areca-nut
gardens. Yields a gum said to be used as an incense and cosmetic. Bark used for
tanning.

Vitex altissima ... ... ... ... ... ... Naviladi

Valuable wood ; brownish-grey when seasoned. Weight 63 lbs. per cubic foot.
Used, when procuralile, for building and agricultural work.

• The finest teak in Mysore is found in the State forests of Lakvalli, Bisalvadi,
Kakankote, Begur, and Ainur Marigudi. The teak plantations in Mysore cover an
area of about 4,000 acres.



TREES 73

Xylia dolabriformis ... Iron wood ... ... Jambe

Wood dark red or brown, very strong, hard, tough, and durable ; not attacked by
white ants. Weight 65 lbs. per cubic foot. Used for building and agricultural
implements, also for the best charcoal.

The bamboo, scientifically reckoned a giant grass, abounds in the
large forests, and is one of the most valuable products. The common
species is Bambusa arundinacea, the spiny bamboo {bidaru). Dendra-
calamus strictus is the " male bamboo " {gandu bidaru), a solid bamboo
used for spear or lance staves, walking-sticks, &c. The largest bamboos,
known as atide bidaru, are said to be found in the forests of the Mysore
District. The periodical dying off of the bamboo after seeding is a
well-known phenomenon. The seed, called bamboo rice, generally
appears at a time of drought, when the crops have failed, and is eaten
by the poorer classes. The uses of the bamboo are innumerable, and
there is scarcely a domestic purpose to which it is not applied.

The following trees are also common in these forests : —

Acacia arabica Babul Kari Jali, goljli

Yields the Indian gum arable. Wood pale red, turning darker on exposure, close-
grained, tough, and very durable when seasoned in water. Weight about 54 lbs. per
cubic foot. Much used for naves, spokes and felloes of wheels ; also for rice-pounders,
oil and sugar mills, agricultural implements, etc. Tan, dye, fibre, food, and medicine
are obtained from the bark or pods.

Acacia leucophloea... ... ... ... ... ... Bill Jali, topal

Good fuel tree. Sapvvood large ; heartwood reddish-brown, tough, and easily
seasoned. Weight about 55 lbs. per cubic foot. Bark used in distilling arrack. The
young pods given to sheep supposed to improve the quality of the mutton. Gum,
dye, fibre, and medicine are also obtained from this tree.

^Egle marmelos ... ... Bael ... ... ... Bilpatre

Greatly esteemed for the medicinal properties of root, bark, leaves, and fruit. The
pulp of the latter a specific for dysentery and diarrhoea. Its shell or rind is made
into snuff-bo.xes. Wood strongly scented when fresh cut, yellowish-white, hard, and
durable. Weight about 50 lbs. per cubic foot. Seldom felled, as it is considered
sacred, and the leaves indispensable for the worship of Siva.

Butea frondosa ... ... ... ... ... ... Muttaga

\Miole tracts of country are gay with its gorgeous orange-crimson flowers at the
beginning of the hot weather. The leaves are used as plates, and the branches for
sacrificial purposes. A red gum called bastard kino obtained from the bark. From
the flowers is prepared the red juice squirted about in the Holi festival. The seeds
anthelmintic and a common remedy for horses. Wood of little value, but said to be
durable under water. Weight 35 lbs. per cubic foot.

Eugenia jambolana ... Black plum, Jamoon ... Nerale

There are two varieties, caryophyllifolia (nayi nerale) and obtusifolia (jaml)u
nerale). The latter, bearing larger fruit, is most abundant in the Malnad. Fruit,
which has a verj' astringent taste, leaves, seeds, and bark medicinal, and the latter
used for dyeing and tanning. Wood whitish, hard, tough, and durable in water.
Weight 45 lbs. per cubic foot. Used for buildings and agricultural implements.



74 FLORA

I'ciDniu I'lcplianluni ... Wood-apjilc ... ... Bcla, lj)ala

TIk' acid i)iil|) of llic fruit generally eaten, either raw or sometimes in the form of
a jelly like Mack currant. Wood yellowi.sh, close-grained, hard, and durable.
Weight 5oll)s. ])er cubic foot. Used like the foregoing. The bark yields a white
transparent gum resembling gum arable.

Kicus bengalensis Banyan Ala

Clood shade for cofTee. Wood of little value, Init durable under water, and there-
fore used for well frames. Weight aljout 37 lbs. per cubic foot. The wood of the
aerial roots used for tent-poles, cart-yokes, etc. From the milk sap birdlime is made ;
it is also applied to sores and bruises. The young leaves are used for plates.

I-'icus glomerala ... ... Country fig ... ... Atti

Uses similar to those of the above. Cattle eat the fruit greedily ; it is also eaten
by the poor in times of scarcity. The tree imparts moisture to the soil around its
roots.

Ficus religiosa Peepul Arab, ragi, asvattha

Wood of no value. Other uses similar to those of the above. A sacred tree,
planted at the entrance of every village along with the margosa, to which it is married
with the due ceremonies. Perambulations of the tree supposed to confer male issue
and other blessings.

Mangifera indica Mango Mavu

Well known for its delicious fruit throughout India. Wood used for minor works
of carpentry, but does not stand exposure, and is liable to attacks of insects. Weight
about 40 lbs. per cubic foot. Besides being eaten raw, the fruit is made into
chatnis, pickles, and preserves. Medicinal properties are attributed to almost ever>'
part of the tree. The leaves, strung on a thread, are hung up as a sign of welcome
at the lintel of doorways.

Phcenix farinifera Dwarf date Sanna ichalu

The leaves are used for thatch, and as fuel for potteries. The farinaceous pith of
the stem seems not to be eaten here as in some other parts of India.

Phoenix sylvestris Wild date. Toddy palmi Ichalu.

From the juice is produced the toddy or arrack of the country ; and a small propor-
tion is boiled down for making jaggery and date-sugar. Good mats are made from
the leaves.

Tamarindus indica... ... Tamarind ... ... Hunise

Most valued for its fruit, which is largely used in food and for making a cooling
drink. The seeds are also roasted and eaten ; and a size made from them is used by
Kuruljars as a dressing for kamblis or country-made blankets. Fruit, leaves, and seed
are also medicinal. Heartwood very hard and durable, but difficult to work. Weight
about 60 lbs. per cubic foot. Used for naves of wheels, rice-pounders, mallets, tent-
pegs, oil and sugar mills, handles to tools, and .so on.

The third or dry belt Hes to the east of the mixed forest belt, and
includes the far greater portion of the Province. The tree vegetation is
much inferior to that immediately to the west, the change being in some
parts gradual, in others very marked. The latter is especially per-

* The groves of this toddy palm, which is a Covernment monopoly, cover altogether
an area of something like 30,000 acres in the Maidan parts of the State. The finest
are in the Chitaldroog and Mysore Districts.



TREES 75

ceptible near the Baba Budan hills, which from their elevation arrest
much of the rain which would otherwise pass to the east and north-east.
The difference between the abundant vegetation of the Jagar valley to
the west, and the scanty vegetation to the east, of the Kalhatti hills in
the Baba Budans is remarkable.

Many of the trees found in the mixed belt are common to this third
tract, but as a rule they are of smaller growth. This is specially notice-
able in teak, which is only met with stunted, twisted and small ; in
some of the coDibrefacecc, and very marked in some of the leguininosce.

Besides the different kinds of Jiciis, the mango, tamarind and jamun,
the ippe {ixxssia lafifolid) and jack {artocarpus integrifolia) grow well.
The acacias of the preceding list, the wood-apple, bael-tree and pachari
also thrive. The wild date {pJuvnix sylvestris) grows in the western
part and tlie dwarf date {phcetitx farinifera) in the centre and west.
The custard-apple {anona squainosci) grows wild rather abundantly in
the waste lands of the Sira taluq. Among others the more valuable and
common trees are : — ■

Acacia catechu ... ... ... ... ... ... Kagli

Catechu {kdchii) is obtained by boiling down a decoction from chips of the heart-
wood. It is not much made in Mysore, and is principally used for mastication and
medicine. There are two kinds, dark and pale, of which the latter only is used for
chewing. Ileartwood dark red, hard, durable, seasons well, and takes a fine polish ;
not attacked by white ants. Weight about 70 ll^s. per cubic foot. Much used for
fuel and charcoal. Also for oil and sugar mills, l)ows, handles to arms, and for
agricultural implements.

Alangium lamarckii ... ... ... ... ... Ankule

Good for fuel and fences. Wood light yellow outside, dark brown in the centre,
hard, even-grained, tough, and durable. A beautiful wood when well seasoned.
Weight about 52 lbs. per cubic foot. Used for pestles, wooden bells, and other
minor purposes. Fruit acid ; nearly every part of the tree medicinal.

Anogeissus lalifolia ... Dindiga

See above (p. 70).

Averrhoa carambola ... ... ... ... ... Kamaraka

Fruit eaten raw, also stewed, curried, and pickled. Wood light red, hard, and
close-grained. Weight about 40 lbs. per cubic foot.

Buchanania latifolia ... ... ... ... ... Murkali

Well known for its edible seeds, in some places used as a substitute for almonds.
1 leartwood seasons well and sufficiently duralile for protected work. Weight 36 lbs.
per cubic foot. Bark can be used in tanning.

Dalhergia lanceolaria ... ... ... ... ... llasar ganni

Wood whitish, heavy, weighing 62 lbs. per cubic fool, l)Ul not durable. Root,
bark, and an oil from the seed, medicinal.

Diospyros tupru ... ... ... ... ... ... Tupra

Fruit eaten by cowherds. Leaves used for folding native cigarettes. The
Mahrattis obtain from the root a coloured paste for caste marks.



76 FLORA

Dulicliaiidronc falciita ... ... ... ... ..• Udi

A coarse dark I'lhro obtained from the inner bark. IIcarlw



Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 11 of 98)