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Kanha Flora & Fauna

Kanha's flora, or plant life, is the underpinning of the park's entire ecosystem. Tigers could not live here without prey, such as chital, sambar, wild boar, and barasingha. These animals, in turn, could not subsist without the forage that the plant life furnishes them. Langurs, sloth bears and birds depend on fruits, flowers and forbs for survival. Insects, spiders and tree have a complex interdependent set of relationships, in which spiders help to regulate the defoliant pressures on trees by controlling the insect population. Termites, whose digestive system turns decaying vegetation into soil - enriching nutrients, are a major item in the sloth bear's diet, exemplifying dynamic linkages among insects, plant life, and one of the park's major mammals. In these and many other similar examples, an ecosystem approach is, as always, the key to a more sensitive, accurate understanding and appreciation of the park.

 Kanha National Parks has variety of tree that one may comes across during visit. Some of them are as follows:
Sr.No. Tree name Short Description
1. Sal
(Shorea robusta)
Sal is a moderate slow growing tree and found in abundance in forest of Kanha. Its wood is useful in making of furnitures, doors etc. Sal has handsome share in forest of Kanha.
2. Saj
(Terminalia coricea)
The genus Terminalia Linn includes 200 species of tree & shrubs. They are source of non-wood products like gums, oil, drug preparation etc.
3. Mahua/Indian Butter Tree
(Madhuca indica)
Indian butter tree is very popular among villagers of Central India. It is found in majority of areas of Madhya Pradesh. Oil extracted from its seed used as edible oil and in soap industry.
4. Flame of Forest
(Butea monosperma)
Its flower appears in month of February & March. During this period it changes the image of forest. Its average height is 6-12 meter. Flower is boiled to extract colour for dye, ink etc. It is very common tree in Kanha & its near-by areas. Local people call it “Choola”.
5. Bija
(Pterocarpus marsupium)
It is popularly known as Indian Kino Tree. It is a medium to large in height and have medicinal value in Ayurveda. It is used for treatment of diabetes, inflammation etc.
6. Bel
(Aegle marmelos)
Bel is also known by the name of “stone apple”. Its juice is used in making refreshing drinks and is considered good for stomach. It is used as a ayurvedic remedy for ailments as diarrhea, dysentery, dryness of eye, constipation etc.
7. Banyan
(Ficus bengalensis)
Banyan or Indian Banyan can grow into a giant tree covering several hectares. We can find this tree in Kanha, whose figs are eaten by birds and mammals. Seed of fig are dispersed by birds like Indian Mynas. Studies have shown that seeds passed through digestive system of bird are more likely to germinate.
8. Jamun
(Syzygium cumini)
It is a evergreen beautiful tree found in Kanha. Jamun fruit appears in month of May & June. On first appearance of fruit is in green colour then its changes into pink and later become black on fully ripe stage. Fruit is good for digestive system and other parts of tree also have significant medicinal value.
9. Harra
(Terminalia chebula)
Harra or Harad tree has great medicinal value in ayurveda. It is moderate to large tree with rounded crown, yellowish-white flowers, spreading branches. Its fruit is used to cure many common disorders like piles, vomiting, throat problem, bleeding disorder, hyperacidity, constipation, hiccough, arthritis etc. It is one of the prominent content of famous Indian household appetizer called “Trifala/triphala churan”
10. Bahera
(Belleric myroblan)
It is a large tree with leaves 10 to 25cm. long, clustered near ends of branches, small pale green foul-smelling flowers in simple spikes. Healing power of dried bahera fruit is well known in India. Bahera is also one of the three constituents of Triphala. It is also used during cough, stomach disorder, sore throat, constipation, eye disorder, intestinal worms etc.
11. Indian gooseberry
(Emblica officinalis)
Indian gooseberry or Amla is known for edible spherical fruit. Tree is medium sized tree of 7 to 17 mtr. Height. It grows relatively slowly. Fruit is light green color and have great medicinal value. If we observe fruit carefully we can notice six divisions in its body. Amla is another important ingredient of Indian Triphala/Trifala.
12. Haldu
(Adina cordifolia)
Adina cordifolia is found in forest area of Kanha. Local people know it by the name of Kadam or Haldu. It blossoms during winter season. Its flowers are usually yellow with some shade of pink colour. Bark of tree have been used as antiseptic.
13. Thwar
(Bauhinia roxburghiana)
Thwar is a flowering plant, found in Kanha National Park.
14. Semal
(Bombax ceiba)
Bombax ceiba is commonly known as cotton tree. Its red flowers with five petals in spring gives it beautiful look. Its trunk is straight, tall and have spikes.
15. Pipal
(Ficus religiosa)
Pipal (peepal or pepal tree) is a sacred tree for Hindus & Buddhists. Specialty of this tree is that it produces oxygen in day time as well as in night also. It is also known as Bodhi Tree as lord Buddha attained enlightenment under a papal tree.
16. Tendu
(Diospyros melanoxylon)
Madhya Pradesh is the largest Tendu leaves producer state of India. Diospyros melanoxylon leaf is the most suitable wrapper as it can be rolled easily and available in mass. Its leaves are widely used in Indian Bidis. It is widely available in forest of Kanha. Many villagers use to enter village to collect its leaves.
17. Achar
(Buchanania lanzan)
Buchanania lanzan is from family of Anacardium and its common name is Charoli or Chironji. It is a medium sized tree with tiny, hard shelled fruits. Kernel inside the shell is used for garnishing sweets in India.
18. Lendia
(Lagerstroema parviflora)
Its telugu name is Chennangi. It is very common tree in both moist & dry forest areas. Its speciality is light demander, drought resistand, good coppicer & fire-resistant. Its fruits ripes in December to February. It can be seen in both moist & dry area of Kanha forest.
29. Dhaman
(Grewia tiliaefolia)
It is a flowering plant. Its furits called “Phalsa” are delicious in taste and liked by languars & deers of Kanha national park.
20. Ghont
(Zizyphus xylopyrus)
It is found in Central India as well as south-west part of India. Zizyphus is a small tree in the buckthorn family Rhamnaceae. Its leaves are are alternate, entire with three prominent basal veins, size 2-8 cm. long. It is found in warm temperature and subtrophical regions of forested areas of Kanha Tiger Reserve.
21. Maniphal
(Randia dumentorum)
It is a small tree of rigid shrub. It have long spines with strong horizontal leaves of 1-2 inches long. Plant is covered with white flowers turning yellow over a few days. It attracts maximum number of butterflies and daytime moth like clearwing hawk moth. Its seeds have medicinal properties and often used as fish poison.
22. Sendoor
(Mallotus philippensts)
It is a native Indian tree with height of 20-30 mtr. tall. Its twigs are solid and densely hairy. It is found in both primary & secondary forests of Kanha. Its seed capsule is the source of yellow dye.
23. Kumhi (Careya arborea) It is commonly known as Slow Match Tree in English. It falls under deciduous tree category whose leaves fall seasonly. Its leaves turn red in winters and can grow up to 18 mtr.high. Its flowers are yellow or white in colour and produce like green berries. Its bark has medicinal value of curing common cold and coughs.
24. Kusum
(Schleichera oleosa)
It is also a deciduous tree of height up to 40 mtr. Its bark is smooth and grey in colour. Its wood is reddish brown and used for oil and sugar mills, agricultural implements, rice pounders etc. lt is found is loamy soil area
25. Arjun
(Terminalia arjuna)
It is known for its medicinal value and widely used by Ayurvedic physicians. It is known for its curative properties in hypertension, heart problem etc. Other names of it are Koha, Kahu, Arjan etc. It is large size deciduous tree of height approx. 50 – 90 feet. It is evergreen tree with yellow flowers and conical leaves. Its flowers can be seen in the month of March to June.
26. Lasoda
(Cordia dichotoma)
It is a medium high tree with average height of 12 mtr. Cordia dichotoma has known for medicinal value. It is useful in disease of cough, chest, colic paint etc. Its fruits, kernel, mucilage and barks are useful portions of tree.
27. Ber
(Zizyphus mauritiana)
Ber is also known by the name of Indian jujube, Chinee Apple, Boroi. Its tree is found widely in forest of Kanha. Zizyphus mauritiana is a trophical fruit tree. Its fruit is good source of vitamin ‘C’, presented to god in Hindus and considered sacred. Tree is of medium height i.e, of 6-14 mtr. High with thorns in branches. Its leaves are about 3-8 cm long and thick.
28. Dhaora
(Anogeissus latifolia)
Dhaora is a small medium sized tree of 20-35 mtr. high. It is considered as one of the most useful tree in India. It is a good source of gum which is used for calico printing. It is found in semi evergreen forest area. It is leaf-less in the month of February to May and followers in the months of June to September. Fruit is available in the months of December to March.
29. Mango
(Lannea grandis)
Mango is very famous fruit of India. Mango tree can be widely seen in Central India and other parts of India. Its fruit is available in summer season i.e. in the months of May, June, July. It is considered as king of all fruits in India. It is favorite fruits of local tribal people close to Kanha National Park. Mango can be consumed in both raw & ripe form.
30. Kasahi
(Bridelia squamosa)
It is a medium to large sized tree. Its height is up to 10 – 20 mtr. High with pointed thorns in trunk area. Its bark is dark brown in colour and roughly cracked.
31. Pakhri
(Ficus virens)
 Its common name is White Fig. Its fruit is edible just like many other figs and local villagers of Kanha consumes it in their food habit.
32. Bamboo Bamboo is another most commonly seen tree in Forests of Kanha. Bamboo is a tree that flowers gregariously only once in 40 to 60 years. Birds and animals feed on it as bamboo is in abundant and nutritious too. Two main species of bamboo founds in Kanha: Dendrocalamus strictus & Bamboosa arundinacea.

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