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Tree for identification 030511MK2: Kindly help to ID this tree found in a sacred grove near Kothagiri. Could this be any Oleaceae?

Date/Time- 10-04-2011 / 10:00 AM
Location- Place, Altitude, GPca.1800m ASL; Kothagiri, TN
Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type- wild
Plant Habit-tree
Height/Length- 7 m long
Leaves Type/ Shape/ Size- imparipinnate; each leaflet 6 x 2 cm
Inflorescence Type/ Size- c.10 cm across
Flowers Size/ Colour/ Calyx/ Bracts- white
Fruits Type/ Shape/ Size Seeds- not observed

Oleaceae members generally have only 2 stamens. This could be a Zanthoxylum (= Xanthoxylum) species, but I am not sure.


Yes I also agree with ..


Dear .. looks like Z. armatum to me, but batk is needed for conformation. Can u please upload the bark?


I don’t have picture of bark now; and will upload later. 


Zanthoxylum armatum have spines on stems may be some other species 


It look like Olea dioica to me, Oleaceae family
Please give more details about the plant..


what is a sacred grove in this tree’s context…..
I know what wikipedia says….
that’s not what I am asking…
I am asking a specific question….
WHAT IS THIS SACRED GROVE…and what is it used for? and why?
I have seen this phrase Sacred grove in tree ID requests a few times here in eflora….

Thank you for your prompt answer , now I understand the meaning and the social context and impact of such a space that is set aside… perhaps happens in India mainly… wonder if the sacred grove concept is operational elsewhere in the other religious sects or traditions….
    for the sake of completion of (for keeping the records handy) I have pasted the two responses I got  so promptly…
Ist is from Mr. .. and second from Dr. .. …
    Response 1: “Sacred grooves  means place near to temple which is not distrubed by human being . it is reserved forest maintained by local people without any government action. people do not cut any plant or twig so flora is maintained.it maintained by our people to conserve flora and fauna. mostly they  evergreen plant and now they under revenue department, thank you”
    Response 2: “Sacred grove means tree are maintained for worship. Nothing can be plucked from the tree.”
Thank you both
If you could point me to some books or articles on Sacred groves?


Sacred groves are the place where, the villagers worship any God or  may be some tree, or some special shape of stone or may be anything…….or they are afraid of any evil in the area, hence they dont cut any trees or kill any animal in that area, may be in fear of that it would harm their family…. any ways this worked for preserving the forest… in sacred groves we can see very old, rare, endangered trees…. sacred groves shows 50-70% different flora than the area around the groves… hence its important to save all the sacred groves in the country..

C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre has published a few books on eco-heritage and sacred groves:

Here are some references for sacred groves in West Bengal: List of sacred groves in West Bengal. http://www.ecoheritage.cpreec.org/viewsacdetail.php?$mFJyBfK$MOIb-B5v…
Das, K. and Malhotra K. C. 1997. Sacred groves in Midnapore district, West Bengal. Report submitted to RANWA, Pune.
Bhakat, R.K., Socio-religious and Ecological Perspective of a Sacred Grove from Midnapore District, West Bengal, Science and Culture, Vol. 69, No. 11- 12,pp. 371 – 374, 2003.
Ethnomedicinal Plant Conservation Through Sacred Groves by R. K. Bhakat and U. K. Sen  (West Midnapore district) http://www.krepublishers.com/06-Special%20Volume-Journal/S-T%20&%20T-…
Sacred Groves of India : an Annotated Bibliography by Kailash C. Malhotra, Yogesh Gokhale and Ketaki Das has several references for West Bengal  http://www.ces.iisc.ernet.in/biodiversity/sahyadri_enews/newsletter/i…
Conservation of Local Ethno-Medicinal Trees of Midnapore District, West Bengal Through a Sacred Grove by Bhakat, R.K. Pandit, P.K. Maity, P.P. http://direct.bl.uk/bld/PlaceOrder.do?UIN=219235596&ETOC=RN


It is felt that for the purpose of conservation the ‘educated’ then must have told common people that the trees near the god should not be cut, flowers should not be plucked. Animals should not be killed. Due to this the Biodiversity there got prereved. In olden era people believed, worshiped, feared The Almighty, hence this believe might have come into existance.
    Such forests in Marathi is called Devrai, Gods forest.
    Similarly near temples we can see the small lakes or ponds called Devtal. This is also one way of presevation, conservation of water.
    We can see such sacred grooves, in forests, in mangroves, near villages.
    In Maharashtra in Phansad sanctury is such big Sacred groove, is seen. It has some big creepers of about 150to 200yrs old. This creeper in Marathi is called Garabi.
    Many small other devrais also exist at present don’t have the list.

yes .., Sacred groves are meant as ‘Forests for God’, no other activity including medicinal plant collection is allowed by a particular tribe who manages and worships the grove. They believe that Gods live there.
The tree I photographed is a sacred grove in Nilgiris [Banagudi] managed by the ‘Kurubar’ tribe. State Forest Dept also recognises this area and kept as Protected Area.

I didn’t saw any armature in the bark of this tree. May be I overlooked.


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