Acacia auriculoformis

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Shantanu Bhattacharya

26 Sept 2010, 3:05:58 pm26/09/10
to efloraofindia
sharing a pic of the Phyllode Acacia (Acacia auriculoformis) invasive species from Australia.
Pic taken at Narendrapur.
this plant now grows in profusion in many parts of Bankura and Puruliya districts of West Bengal...the red soil is ideal for its growth...but it doesnt allow other plants to grow...and its outcompeting other trees in the area.
i was shocked to see that there were no other trees in Mukutmanipur- a nice tourist spot near Bankura.
Shantanu  :)

Shantanu Bhattacharya.
B.Sc, M.Sc (Zoology)
University of Calcutta.
Teaching Faculty.
Dept. of Biology.
Vivekananda Mission School(ICSE).
Joka. Kolkata.


Pankaj Kumar

26 Sept 2010, 3:09:55 pm26/09/10
to Shantanu Bhattacharya, efloraofindia
Acacia auriculiformis to be precise.....


Pankaj Kumar Ph.D. (Orchidaceae)
Research Associate
Greater Kailash Sacred Landscape Project
Department of Habitat Ecology
Wildlife Institute of India
Post Box # 18
Dehradun - 248001, India

Anand Kumar Bhatt

27 Sept 2010, 12:38:26 am27/09/10
to Pankaj Kumar, Shantanu Bhattacharya, efloraofindia
I dont know how it happened that all the exotic plants which we brought to India with great enthusiasm and high hopes were proved to be invasive or injurious in some other way. Let us reel off the names: water hyacinth which was brought by an English lady for the beautiful flowers, ipomea which was supposed to solve the fodder and firewood problem in the villages, eucalyptus which was thought to be an excellent tree for forest plantation, subabool and now acacia auriculiformis which was thought to be a useful plant for covering degraded forest area as it is non-browsable. I am not mentioning lantana and parthenium.
The moral of the story is that one should go for  native plants, not search for exotic plants to be imported for large scale plantation. 
Another plant which is being propagated by a reputed religious organisation is Simarouba glauca. Well one has to wait for a few years to see how useful and harmless the tree is. 
Anand Kumar Bhatt
A-59, B.S.F.Colony, Airport Road
Gwalior. 474 005.
Tele: 0751-247 2233. Mobile 0 94253 09780.
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Ten most  common surnames of Indians: Singh, Kumar, Sharma, Patel, Shah, Lal, Gupta, Bhat, Rao, Reddy. Cheers!

Pankaj Oudhia

27 Sept 2010, 3:40:49 am27/09/10
to efloraofindia
Agreed Anand ji.

Ipomoea carnea was introduced for green manuring in paddy fields. Senior farmer of Chhattisgarh Shri D.D.Verma still remembers that how with police band this exotic species was brought in Raipur from Bhopal in special truck. Ipomoea may be a promising solution for irrgated rice but in rainfed condition it spreads in farmer's field as weed and it is next to impossible to remove it.

Living with this species natives have started developing its uses. It is used as Fuelwood but its fumes are curse for eyes and lungs. Farmers are using it as fence. Our Blister beetles have started consuming its flowers. These beetles are very toxic. When cattle feed on Ipomoea accidentally they die within no time. It is reported that in west, one blister beetle, present in alfalfa used as fodder, can kill full grown horse if ingested with the fodder.

Ipomoea carnea harbours green snake which is locally known as Beshram Domi in Chhattisgarh. This snake attacks on cattle if Ipomoea is disturbed. The Traditional snake experts claim that this snake was not present before introduction of Ipomoea. Hmmmm!!! it seems that Ipomoea reached with special scheme i.e. Ek ke saath ek free.

Our Tortoise Beetle tired of feeding on Ipomoea batatas got new species in form of Ipomoea carnea. Now they prefer this exotic species as comapred to batatas. I tried to use these beetles to manage Ipomoea but failed. Atleast 20 native species of insects started liking Ipomoea carnea. 

As it grows shamelessly everywhere thats why it is known as Beshram, When anyone says "BESHRAM" I remeber the song of Kamal Hasan's film Ek Dooje ke Liye. Beshram and next line of song is Satyam Shivam Sundram.

Parthenium is also present everywhere even more shamelessly than Ipomoea but in Mandla region due to its omnipresence it got new name as Ram Phool and Bhagvan Ram is present everywhewre (But definately not like Parthenium)  

 Traditional Healers are now using it in tens of formulations. It is popularly used as medicine for Vitiligo i.e. Leucoderma. I am using its extracts and leachate to manage pest in organic farming and also promote crop growth.

Parthenium reached with wheat through PL-480 plan but now we are under international pressure to deny this historical fact and write that Parthenium was present in India even before inroduction of PL-480. We received Parthenium as problem and now most of the chemcials to manage Parthenium are coming from the country of its origin. It is old Saying "Pahale dard diyaa aur fir dawa kee."

Few days back Gurcharanji and Balkar ji were discussing new introduced species of Heliotropium. I am eager to know about its path of introudction.

Sorry if Oudipedia has taken much of your time. :)


Pankaj Oudhia

Anand Kumar Bhatt

27 Sept 2010, 6:57:57 am27/09/10
to Pankaj Oudhia, efloraofindia
Thank you Pankaj for all the first hand info. I did not know of all the details. 

Shantanu Bhattacharya

27 Sept 2010, 10:38:36 am27/09/10
to Anand Kumar Bhatt, Pankaj Kumar, efloraofindia
Yes Anand ji...very interesting point.
Human beings sometimes cause degradation of ecosystem by intentional introduction of exotic species. A thorough research and proper understanding of the species is required before introducing a palnt or animal species in a country or area.
The following points should be considered during introduction:
whether the species is beneficial to us
whether the species is potent enough to outcompete the other species,
whether the species can  spread very rapidly, and go out of control.
whether the growth of that plant can affect the soil quailty and ecosystem.
whether the species is toxic for native animals and birds.
and other factors....
I am citing an example from the animal kingdom where the introduction of a species in a new country proved to be a disaster. Indian Grey mongooses were taken from India, and introduced in the island of Hawaii to control the field mice population which destroys the crops.
The mongooses started multiplying very fast in the absence of other predators, and besides killing mice and insects. they also consumed the eggs and chicks of many ground dwelling endemic island birds.
So there was decline in the endemic bird population in Hawaii....and now the mongoose has become a nuisance.
Same is the story of introduction of Brown Catsnake in the island of Guam. This snake came into the island possibly with the cargos of ships, and so it was accidental. It not only preyed upon the ground birds, but also climbed the trees with agility and ate the eggs of birds , and hunted the endemic smaller birds at night. Bird population started reducing. and now the snakes are killed at sight. Many birds of Guam are now threatened due to this snake-hazard.
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