Friday, June 16, 2006

Born In Madagascar

This rare African Baobab stands about 30 feet tall in the compound of Dr K G Desai’s bungalow on Coyaji Road. Known as Adansonia Digitata and in Marathi as Gorakh Chinch, the tree is native to Madagascar and may have been brought here by Arab settlers. The baobab has been documented in a garden-mapping programme undertaken by a group of Garware College students under Ranwa, an environmental group. The students of microbiology and biodiversity have mapped some ten gardens in the city, highlighting rare, exotic and indigenous tree species, and their location. “We started this initiative as an academic exercise to familiarise students with mapping techniques, but it can also be a guide for the layman,” says Ankur Patwardhan of Ranwa. The maps have been printed in the publication Sajeev Pune, three years ago. Other unique species include the Salix, a lone specimen stands at Deccan Gymkhana, the Star Apple, with just two or three samples that can be found in Sahakarnagar, a lone specimen of Surangi is located opposite Popular Book House in Deccan Gymkhana while the Undi and Kala Palas can be spotted inside Garware College.




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