Cycas circinalis


09:39 PM

1 min read
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Cycas circinalis is on the verge of extinction in the northern part of the Kerala state after being hit by an unknown and fast spreading plant disease.

About Cycas circinalis

  • It is popularly known as Eenthu Pana in Kerala.
  • It is known by different names like Mund isalu (Kannada), madana kama raja (Tamil) and Malabari supari (Marathi) in different states.
  • It belongs to cycads (family Cycadaceae), which are one of the world’s most threatened plant groups.
  • These family trees have originated 300 million years ago during the Carboniferous period, cycads are the oldest extant group of seed plants.
  • Features
    • It is an evergreen palm-like tree that grows up to 25 ft.
    • It typically occurs in fairly dense, seasonally dry scrubby woodlands in hilly areas.
    • It is also facultative deciduous in extremely dry times.
    • Eenthu Pana is like areca nut. It cannot be prepared unless it’s completely dry and this is difficult as it’s usually plucked in the rainy season. 
    • They bear fruits after 40 to 50 years in most cases.
  • Geographical distribution: It is known to be an Indian endemic, restricted to the Western Ghats, in the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and the south of Maharashtra.
  • Out of the nine species of cycads recognised within India, six are endemic.
  • Applications: It is a nutraceutical plant for several indigenous communities in the Western Ghats.

Q1) What are Cycads?

These are seed plants that typically have a stout and woody trunk with a crown of large, hard, stiff, evergreen and pinnate leaves. 

Source: A rare tree fights a losing battle in north Kerala