The ‘Shivalik Arboretum’, showcasing floral diversity of the Shivalik Hills was inaugurated on Sunday at Jeolikote in Nainital by renowned environmentalist Ajay Rawat.
Spread over an area of three acres, the Arboretum houses more than 200 species. Chief Conservator of Forests (Research) Sanjiv Chaturvedi said, “It is first of its kind arboretum, specifically showing floral diversity of Shivalik Hills and one of the largest arboretum of the state.”
The main species conserved in this arboretum include Kaphal (Myrica esculenta), Toon (Toona ciliata), Tejpat (Cinnamomum tamala), Banj Oak (Quercus leucotrichophora), Buransh (Rhododendron arboreum), Padam (Prunus cerasoides), Utis (Alnus nepalensis), Pangar (Aesculus indica), Timur (Xanthoxylum arinatum), Chyura (Diploknema butyracea), Malu (Bauhmia vahlii), and Ghingharu (Pyracantha cremilata).
Apart from this many species of fern, moss, cane, lichen have also been conserved.
In this arboretum, unique experiments, complete information about ecological, scientific, medicinal and cultural aspects of every species have been shown in the form of placards attached to the individual trees, in a story-telling format.
Chaturvedi further said, “This has been established for the purpose of creating awareness and imparting nature education to the people coming to this arboretum.”
The Shivalik Hills are spread from the Sindhu river on the western side of the country up to the Brahmaputra river on the eastern side and covers the States of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
These ranges from the outer Himalayas and because of the altitudinal variation, are a source of rich floral and faunal biodiversity.