Written by KR Lakshmi
31 Aug. 2014 7am: The day started off with a glorious weather and a hint of rain..
Enjoying the beautiful MCC campus as we awaited Dr. Narasimhan (specialization in Taxonomy, Ethnobotany and Medicinal plants), some of us took a walk, some chatted and so it began..
The tree walk started off in an anticlockwise direction, the Selaiur hall surroundings being the first spot.
As Dr. Narasimhan started off the tour,
Learning 1: Trees have a structure that should be appreciated! so we all looked at the tree structure for once, not focussing on flowers or colour as we typically do- the tree trunk, foliage, canopy and how the branches branched out in a specific shape (Y shape was this tree- Sweetunia...).
Now that we knew what aspects r to be looked at, off we went to the next spot near the Sun dial- and there it was- Albizzia lebbeck.The Tamil name for this tree is 'Vagai' associated with Victory.
Learning 2: There is a "value" shade which is different from any other shades offered by any other tree. Yes, the quality of shade that this tree offered was incomparable to the rest.
Learning 3: The funny and not so funny local names associated with the trees, some of it hardly relevant to the tree's characteristics.
The next tree(at) was the "in news" Red sanders (Pterocarpus..) and Prof. again explained why it would not be suited to cultivate this in Thanjavur soil. Looks China is in need of this tree in amazing quantities as it has quite some capabilities that are still not proven (like absorbing nuclear radiation!!), the Prof. explained.
By this time, the sun had really come up, but we hardly felt it as the campus trees offered lots of breeze. We moved on to the Science block and near Heber hall- for the Calabash tree and so on..We all got to sniff the exotic flower- Manoranjitham (Artabotris hexapetalus) and see an original Asoka tree(Saraca indica).
By this time, Prof. Subramanian graciously offered us breakfast that we enjoyed@ the students cafe.
Then,continued our tour to the R&D centre, got to see Alstonia scholaris, prevalent in areas like Palakkad ( the town derives its name from the tree which is locally known as 7leaved Palai), then the attractive Manjadi seed tree(adenanthera pavonina, considered a good luck tree.. ok to believe favorable myths J
A few more trees and then the tour ended, though the stretch of trees didnt..
Thanks to the volunteers of CTC and gracious Professors at MCC, the event turned out to be enjoyable and worthwhile!!
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