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Chenkurinji Tree which was once abundant in the Aryankavu Pass in Kerala’s Kollam district has been fast receding from the area over the years.
Chenkurinji (Gluta travancorica) is a species of plant in the family Anacardiaceae.
It is endemic to the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve.
The Shendurni wildlife sanctuary in the Kollam district is named after this tree.
Flowering Period: Though the flowering of Chenkurinji usually happens in January. But of late, the plant species have reported a tendency to extend the process due to climate change.
Note: This is an adaptation strategy to increase the chances of germination and maintain a minimum viable population.
Uses: The tree is reported to have medicinal properties and is used to lower blood pressure and treat arthritis.
Chenkurinji is very susceptible to climate change and the present condition of the species is quite bad with low regeneration performance.
Though there are seemingly enough trees, most are not productive, generating a negative trend in its population. Moreover, the majority of the trees are old with poor flowering and fruiting rates.
Source: The post is based on the article “Saving Chenkurinji from climate change” published in The Hindu on 2nd July 2022.