Panna National Park

Flora in Panna National Park

The forest is mixed and given the high rainfall precipitation one finds extensive stretches of Sal (Shorea robusta), a tree of moist deciduous forest in central and north India. The Sal is good quality timber, the leaves are good fodder, fruits have nutritional & medicinal value and is valued greatly by tribals. The other common tree species belong to the Terminalia genus, the most numerous being what in India is popularly known as Crocodile bark, the earlier Scientific name being Terminalia tomentosa, now it is referred to as Terminalia crenulata, it is good timber, locals call it as Saja and in Maharashtra it is called as Ain. Terminalia arjuna, locally called Arjun is distinct because of its pale bark and thick girth, is more common near water sources. Other Terminalia species are Terminalia chibula and Terminalia bellarica, Axle wood (Anogeisis latifolia), locally referred to as Dhaoda, good for making charcoal and agricultural implements is common. Labernum or Amaltas (Cassia fistula) with lovely yellow blossoms in the dry season and Flame of the forest or Palas (Butea frondosa) a glorious sight in the drier season when it is flowering, are found sprinkled all over the forest. Huge trees of Baja (Pterocarpus marsupium) & Haldu (Adena cardifolia) along with host of other large & small trees comprise the thick forest. Evergreen trees like Mango (Mangifera indica) and of Jamun or Black plum (Syzigium cumini) are also found. Bamboo thickets (Dendrocalamus strictus) are commonly found, the undergrowth is quite thick with species like Lantana and Glerodendron. The rolling meadows of grass and grassy plateau are integral to the health of the herbivore population. In some areas wildlife management practices have deliberately prevented the progression of secondary and climax vegetation to ensure adequate grasslands for the herbivores. No note on flora can be complete without a note on tall luxurian tree, Mahuwa (Madhuca Indica). Flowers of the tree useful as food and are source of very popular liquor which is compared to Ambrosia or nector of the god.