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Flame of forest blooms in Mamdapur Rajapur sanctuary; Rare yellow Palas tree flourishing in reserve

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NASHIK :

Mamdapur forest reserve area in Yeola taluka has been developed especially for blackbucks. About 100 km from Nashik city, the forest reserve area is spread over Rajkapur, Kharwandi, Devdari and Somthanjosh. In this area of 544.955 hectares, a large population of blackbucks is growing under protection.

The blackbuck is known as the symbol of the Indian subcontinent. In this reserved conservation area, blackbucks are found roaming around freely. With blackbucks, the rare Yellow Palas trees are also flourishing in this region. The spring festival has began with a celebration of Holi festival. The Flame of Forest, the Palas tree has also bloomed in various parts. But currently, the very rare Yellow Palas tree has became attraction in Mamdapur-Rajapur forest reserve.

This forest reserve area is also close to the cities like Shirdi, Aurangabad and Ahmednagar. Due to this, this protected forest conservation area has always been open to tourists. The Butea Monosperma also called Palash, tesu or Flame of the Forest, the plant grows as a medium-sized tree and is a native to India.

The tree grows up to 40 feet high and has a distinctive appearance due to its grey bark, irregular branches and crooked trunk. The pinnate leaves have three leaflets each, which also brings to the very famous Hindi saying, ‘dhaak ke teen paat’. The tree doesn’t flower until January, and even its leaves fall until then.

From January to March, the tree is laden with orange-vermillion flowers, which also lend it the most famous name, ‘The Tree of the Flame!’ The flowers have five petals with a beak-shaped keel. The keel also earns it another colloquial name – parrot tree. Birds are the main pollinators of the flowers. The flowers grow in clusters on leafless branches.

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