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_Adenanthera aculeata_ Roxb. _ Mimosa cineraria_ L. _ Prosopis spicigera_ L. _ Prosopis spicata_ Burm.

_PROSOPIS CINERARIA_ is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae . It is native to arid portions of Western Asia and the Indian Subcontinent , including Afghanistan, Iran, India, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. It is an established introduced species in parts of Southeast Asia , including Indonesia . Common names include GHAF (Arabic ); KHEJRI or "Loong Tree" ( Rajasthan ); Janty(जांटी) ( Bishnois ); JUND (Punjabi ); KAHOOR (Balochi ); KANDI (Sindhi ); BANNI / SHAMI (Kannada );GANDASEIN(Burmese ); VANNI வன்னி மரம் (Tamil ); JAMMI (Telugu ); CHAUNKRA, JANT/JANTI, KHAR, KHEJRI/KHEJRA, SAMI, SHAMI (Marathi ) and (Hindi ); KHIJDO ( Gujarat ); VANNI-ANDARA, KATU ANDARA, KALAPU ANDARA, LUNU ANDARA (Sinhala ), ಶಮೀವೃಕ್ಷ or ಬನ್ನೀಮರ (kannada ).

It is the state tree of Rajasthan and Telangana in India. A large and well-known example of the species is the Tree of Life in Bahrain – approximately 400 years old and growing in a desert devoid of any obvious sources of water.

It is also the national tree of the United Arab Emirates . Through the Give a Ghaf campaign its citizens are urged to plant it in their gardens to combat desertification and to preserve their country's heritage.

CONTENTS

* 1 Description * 2 Religious significance * 3 See also * 4 References * 5 External links

DESCRIPTION

Prosopis cineraria Branch

_P. cineraria_ is a small tree, ranging in height from 3–5 m (9.8–16.4 ft). Leaves are bipinnate, with seven to fourteen leaflets on each of one to three pinnae. Branches are thorned along the internodes. Flowers are small and creamy-yellow, and followed by seeds in pods. The tree is found in extremely arid conditions, with rainfall as low as 15 cm (5.9 in) annually; but is indicative of the presence of a deep water table. As with some other _Prosopis_ spp., _P. cineraria_ has demonstrated a tolerance of highly alkaline and saline environments.

RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE

This tree is a highly revered tree among hindus and worshipped as part of Dasara festival. This tree takes importance during tenth day of Dasara Festival when its worshipped in various parts of India. Historically among Rajputs, the Rana's who were the high priest and the king used to do the worship and then they used to liberate a jay which was considered the sacred bird of Lord Rama. In the deccan, as part of the tenth day ritual of Dasara, the marathas used to shoot arrows on to the leaf of the tree and gather the falling leaf into their turbans as a custom. In Karnataka, Acacia ferruginea has also been locally referred to as Banni mara in place of the accepted Khejri tree and its also erroneously accepted as the tree where according to the mythology the Pandavas hid their weapons during exile. There are also some unconfirmed references which consider Acacia ferruginea as the tree which is revered and worshipped on Vijay-Dashami day. However as per historical references, Prosopis cineraria is the tree which is known as the Banni mara and is also the tree which holds a special place in the Mysore Dasara where its worshipped on the Vijay-dashami day. In the Mahabharata, the Pandavas are known to have spent their thirteenth year of exile in disguise in the kingdom of Virata. Before going to Virata, they are known to have hung their celestial weapons in this tree for safe keeping for a year. When they returned after a year, they found their weapons safe in the branches of the Shami tree. Before taking the weapons, they worshipped the tree and thanked it for keeping their weapons safe.

SEE ALSO

* Trees portal

* Arid Forest Research Institute (AFRI)

REFERENCES

* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ "_ Prosopis cineraria_ (L.) Druce". _Catalogue of Life_. Integrated Taxonomic Information System and Species2000. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2012-03-21. * ^ _A_ _B_ "_ Prosopis cineraria_ (L.) Druce". _Germplasm Resources Information Network_. United States Department of Agriculture. 2006-01-27. Retrieved 2009-12-31. * ^ Rejuvenation of Khejri Trees through Bio-control Agents * ^ "_ Prosopis cineraria_". _AgroForestry Tree Database_. World Agroforestry Centre. Retrieved 2012-03-21. * ^ Philp, Myra (17 June 2013). "UAE groups help to save ghaf trees on UN \'Combat Desertification Day\'". _7DAYS in Dubai_. Al Sidra Media. Retrieved 11 September 2013. * ^ "_ Prosopis cineraria_ (L.) Druce". _Tropical Forages_. Centre for International Agriculture Research and Food and Agriculture Agency. 2005. Retrieved 2012-03-21. * ^ S.M, Edwardes; S.M, Edwards (March 1922). "Tree-Worship in India". _Empire Forestry Journal_. 1 (1): 85. * ^ W, Crooke (1915). "The Dasahra: An Autumn Festival of Hindus". _Folklore_. 26 (1): 29–30. doi :10.1080/0015587X.1915.9719701 . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Gandhi, Maneka; Singh, Yasmeen (1989). _Brahma's hair - Mythology of indian plants_. New Delhi: Rupa & co. pp. 29–32. ISBN 81-7167-005-9 . * ^ W, Crooke (1915). "The Dasahra: An Autumn Festival of Hindus". _Folklore_. 26 (1): 36–37. doi :10.1080/0015587X.1915.9719701 . * ^ Babu NM, Ganesh. " Tree that hid pandavas’ weapons when they were in exile". _The New Indian Express_. * ^ S.G, Neginhal (2011). _Forest Trees of the Western Ghats_. S.G Neginhal. p. 133. ISBN 9789350671733 . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ S Sivapriyananda (1995). _Mysore Royal Dasara_. Abhinav Publications. pp. 51, 55. * ^ _A_ _B_ L., Krishna Anantha Krishna Iyer (Diwan Bahadur); Nanjundayya, Hebbalalu Velpanuru (Diwan Bahadur); H.V, Nanjundayya (1935). _The Mysore tribes and castes_. Pub. under the auspices of the Mysore University. p. 68. * ^ _A_ _B_ Fuller, Christopher John (2004). _The Camphor Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in India_. Princeton University Press. p. 121. ISBN 069112048X . * ^ Claus, Peter; Diamond, Sarah; Mills, Margaret (2003). _South Asian Folklore: An Encyclopedia ( Special -Reference)_. p. 536. ISBN 0415939194 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Parsons, Constance (1930). _Mysore City_ (PDF). Humphery Milford Oxford University Press. p. 184. * ^ "The Quarterly Journal of the Mythic Society". _Mythic Society_. 32 (1): 309. 1941. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Milton, Lawrence. "Why Dasara procession culminates at Bannimantap". _Times of India_. * ^ _A_ _B_ Thurston, Edgar; K, Rangachari (1909). _Castes and Tribes of Southern India_. p. 147. * ^ Smaranananda, Swami (2001). _Prabuddha Bharata: Or Awakened India_. Volume 106. p. 49. * ^ _A_ _B_ Bharata, Prabuddha. "Mysore Dasara - A Living Tradition". _web.archive.org_. * ^ Krishna, Nanditha; M, Amirthalingam (2014). _Sacred Plants of India_ (first ed.). Penguin books india 2014. pp. 171–175. ISBN 9780143066262 .

EXTERNAL LINKS

_ Wikimedia Commons has media related to PROSOPIS