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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/96

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HERBS, SHRUBS, AND TREES

of the former is in river beds in the low hills or in ravines below the hills. But it is a favourite tree on roads and near wells throughout the province, and deservedly so, for it yields excellent timber. The siris on the other hand is an untidy useless tree. The kikar might be planted as a roadside tree to a greater extent. Several species of figs, especially the pipal (Ficus religiosa) and bor or banian (Ficus Indica) are popular trees.

Salt Range and North-West Plains.— Our second region may be taken as extending from the Pabbi hills on the east of the Jhelam in Gujrat to our administrative boundary beyond the Indus, its southern limit being the Salt Range. Here the flora is of a distinctly Mediterranean type. Poppies are as familiar in Rawalpindi as they are in England or Italy, and Hypecoum procumbens, a curious Italian plant of the same order, is found in Attock. The abundance of Crucifers is also a Mediterranean feature. Eruca sativa, the oil-seed known as tar amir a or jamidn, which sows itself freely in waste land and may be found growing even on railway tracks in the Rawalpindi division, is an Italian and Spanish weed. Malcolmia strigosa, which spreads a reddish carpet over the ground, and Malcolmia Africana are common Crucifers near Rawalpindi. The latter is a Mediterranean species. The Salt Range genera Diplotaxis and Moricandia are Italian, and the peculiar Notoceras Canadensis found in Attock is also a native of the Canary Islands. Another order, Boraginaceae, which is very prominent in the Mediterranean region, is also important in the North-West Panjab, though the showier plants of the order are wanting. One curious Borage, Arnebia Grifnthii, seems to be purely Asiatic. It has five brown spots on its petals, which fade and disappear in the noonday sunshine. These are supposed to be drops of sweat which fell from Muhammad's forehead, hence the