So, which tree’s seed is this?

It is a seed of a tree which originally grew in the Amazon Delta in the floodplains. The seeds float buoyantly on water, and are dispersed by water. However they are actively taken by large fish like the Black Piranha and other animals. It is an important food source for them.

The tree was introduced here into the Indian peninsula as a cash crop, but sadly in the heavy rainfall hills. With the net result, it has become one of the largest causes for deforestation. Any land for sale in Coorg or South Canara districts, with whichever crop, is bought with Gulf money, cleared and planted with this tree. Fanciers of the old British Raj might recollect that just one chap named Morrison could clear a beautiful swathe of 150ft tall evergreen forest as an experiment, all six hundred acres of it, and then just plant this tree up, in the Sampaje forest range of Coorg in a past century. It still remains as an ugly clearing even to this day.

The reason why this tree is making inroads is that it does not require people to be present there tending it all the time. So it is very convenient for absentee landlordism.

This tree according to me could now be used for foreshore afforestation in our eutrophic lakes instead, since its yield is not used for food. It could perhaps help reduce eutrophication. Currently its product is cheaper to import than grow here. So it is a small saving grace for our mixed species farms and farmland.

It is Rubber. Heavea brasiliensis.

Oct 2016.

making free time is culture!