Good crop, unhealthy crop: When leafy imports flower on Indian soil

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While you search for on the tree cover in your metropolis, what are you seeing: native, pleasant alien or invasive? Have a look.


They give the impression of being stunning, and flower throughout the business capital. However a few of Mumbai’s favorite bushes should not natives, and a few could threaten the few distinctive ecosystems left throughout the metropolis. The gulmohar was a British-era import from Madagascar. The copperpod or Peltophorum, with its acquainted yellow flowers, was introduced right here from Southeast Asia. Rows of rosy trumpet bushes from Central America line streets within the japanese suburbs; they’re those that look a bit like cherry blossoms once they bloom. All these bushes threaten the ecological steadiness of the wild pockets left in Mumbai, akin to these throughout the Sanjay Gandhi Nationwide Park.


(HT Archives)

The truth that New Delhi is thought for its avenues of evergreens is proof that there could also be an issue. Delhi’s pure ecology is dry-deciduous. The pure vegetation right here can be seasonal bushes that shed on the finish of a rising season. The jamun, neem and peepal are natives which might be nonetheless broadly seen. However from the time of the Mughals, by means of British rule, and amongst present-day directors, decorative invasives have continued to seek out favour amid a push to maintain the Capital wanting lush by means of the 12 months.

Within the early 1900s, this led to the introduction of the Prosopis juliflora (above), recognized regionally as vilayati kikar. The Delhi authorities has been making an attempt to rid town and the neighbouring Yamuna Biodiversity Park of this invasive species for about 20 years. One other aggressive invasive that Delhi is combating off is the subabul, a species from South America that was promoted worldwide, within the final century, as a hardy supply of gas and fodder.



Each winter, Bengaluru bursts into gorgeous shades of purple, yellow and pink. The tabebuia (above) and jacaranda bushes, nonetheless, are a good distance from residence. A research by the College of Trans-Disciplinary Well being Sciences and Expertise in Bengaluru estimates that town is residence to greater than 200 non-native species of bushes and shrubs. The British launched many of those within the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, however subsequent governments have carried ahead the legacy in greening drives. In the meantime, the pollen of the Parthenium, a flowering weed from South America, prompts Bengalureans’ pollen allergic reactions, and the beautiful however aggressive water hyacinth (Eichhornia), additionally from tropical America, continues to invade and choke town’s water our bodies.


Chennai is a group of moist, marshy patches of land. Or it was, earlier than its flattening and concretisation. Now, town is water-scarce, smouldering, and lined in lots of species that don’t belong. There are the standard suspects: lantana (above), acacia, and Prosopis juliflora. And some rarer ones: the Senna spectabilis is a South American offender, and the Opuntia or prickly pear is quite a lot of cactus native to the Americas. Between them, these woody bushes and fast-proliferating invasives threaten what’s left of town’s essential wetlands, which should be protected and revived for the fragile ecosystems they host, the carbon they take up and for his or her position as storm-surge buffers.

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