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Students prepare manual on flora

By Our Staff Reporter

GURUVAYUR, MARCH 3. The students of the Botany Department of the Guruvayur Sree Krishna College have brought out a book on the floristic elements of Ariyannur, the area in Kandanassery panchayat near here where their college is located.

The manual contains a list of about 900 plants of monocots, dicots and gymnosperms. According to the teachers in the Department it was the first time in Thrissur district that such list of regional flora has been brought out.

Documentation

They said the Botany Department has been engaged in documenting the plants of Ariyannur right from its inception.

Annual forays were conducted throughout the length and breadth of Ariyannur to make students familiar with the plants as well as with the technique of plant exploration. The Department kept records of those forays and that formed the basis of the present flora manual.

Unique record

Pointing out that Ariyannur has a unique record of history, the teachers said the links of the civilisation of this area to the megalithic period have been unravelled through the monuments such as the `Kudakkallu' or `Thoppikkallu' (mushroom stones or umbrella stones) and `Munimada' (saint's abode) recovered from there. Another reference in Ariyannur dates back to early 15th century in the poem `Chandrotsavam.'

Hillocks

The laterite hillocks of Ariyannur rise to about 50 metres, partly covered with grasses and small trees. The flanks and foothills have medium sized trees and shrubs that remain green throughout the year. The flush of monsoon flora dries up by January and is partly replaced by xeric (low-water consuming) vegetation.

They said several students have independently and in groups helped in the compilation of the manual. The Department has a well-maintained botanical garden housing about 300 indigenous and exotic plants.

Ferns and delicate plants are being grown in the fern house attached to the garden. Gymnosperm park is another attraction of this park.

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